(The State Newspaper) President Barack Obama announced Monday night a rule change that would make millions more Americans eligible for overtime pay. The rule would raise the salary threshold below which hourly workers automatically qualify for time-and-a-half overtime wages to $50,440 a year from $23,660, according to an op-ed by the president in The Huffington Post. “Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve,” the president wrote. The administration has the power to issue the regulation, which would restore the overtime salary threshold to roughly where it stood in 1975 in terms of purchasing power, without congressional approval.
Advocates for the change immediately hailed the decision. “The president said he wanted to go big here and he did,” said Jared Bernstein, a former White House economist who co-wrote an influential report on the benefits of expanding overtime pay after leaving the administration in 2011. “I can’t think of any other rule change or executive order that would lift more middle-class workers.”
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