New salary threshold will expand overtime benefits to more than 4 million workers across the country
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, released the following statements after the Department of Labor announced its final overtime rule. The new rule would raise the salary threshold to $47,476, expanding overtime eligibility to 4.2 million workers and boosting wages for workers by $12 billion over the next 10 years. The rule will also give overworked Americans back precious time with their families by incentivizing employers to hire additional workers or give part-timers more hours that they want and need. Employers will no longer be able to force low-paid employees to work those extra hours for free. Murray and Scott have been the leading voices in Congress encouraging the Obama Administration to update overtime protections.
“In this country, hard work should pay off, and when workers put in extra hours on the job, they should be paid fairly for it,” said Murray. “But far too many Americans have been working longer and longer hours without being fairly compensated, as businesses take advantage of weak, inadequate and outdated overtime rules. These updated worker protections will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of workers and their families across the country and in my home state of Washington. Strengthening basic worker protections like this will help our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down and will help ensure our economy works for everyone, not just the wealthiest few.”
“Over the last 40 years, wages for millions of working people have barely grown despite rising productivity,” said Scott. “While worker productivity rose by 72 percent from 1973 to 2014, wages adjusted for inflation only increased by a meager nine percent. Today, the Department of Labor has taken a critical step forward by giving Americans a long overdue raise. Raising the salary threshold will make millions of hardworking people eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week, and will strengthen overtime protections for millions more. I applaud the Department's efforts to enforce the traditional 40-hour work week, but we still have more work to do to help working families. I will continue to fight for an agenda that boosts wages, helps working people better balance work and family, and levels the playing field by better enforcement of anti-discrimination policies.”