News

Obama wants to boost workers eligible for overtime

Obama wants to boost workers eligible for overtime

PAY CHECK: U.S. President Barack Obama makes remarks welcoming NCAA champion athletes to the South Lawn of the White House in Washington March 10. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will seek to increase the number of people who earn overtime pay by updating regulations that exempt broad swaths of supervisors, managers and office workers from making overtime, a White House official said on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Obama will ask the Labor Department to look at regulations for overtime, and whether to hike the salary threshold above which employers are not required to pay overtime. The threshold was last raised in 2004 to $455 per week.

It is another in a series of populist measures Obama is promoting ahead of November midterm elections as Democrats try to appeal to voters and keep control of the Senate.

Obama has been campaigning to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25, a measure that stands little chance of passing Congress. He also has tried to urge Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits for people out of work for extended periods.

But his administration does not need congressional approval to define who is exempt from overtime pay, the White House said.

“Some employers classify workers as ‘white collar’ workers even though the overwhelming majority of their duties are not white collar,” a White House official said on condition of anonymity, using the example of a convenience store manager or shift supervisor at a fast food restaurant.

“It’s even possible that some of these workers make less than the minimum wage per hour,” the official said. A salaried worker earning $455 per week who works 63 hours or more earns less than the minimum wage.

California has a higher threshold of $640 per week and is set to boost that to $800 per week in 2016, while New York set its threshold at $600 per week, increasing to $675 per week in 2016, the White House official noted.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Recent Headlines

in National, Sports

U.S. Olympic Committee ends effort to bring 2024 Games to Boston

olympics

Boston backed out of its effort to host the 2024 Olympics, hours after the mayor said he would not "commit" to a deal if it meant taxpayers would foot the bill for hosting such a large-scale event.

in Music

WATCH: Lady Gaga joins U2 onstage for ‘Ordinary Love’

25-overlay16

The "Poker Face" hitmaker joined the band onstage in a very Gaga-like outfit, to play piano and provide vocals.

in Weird

Creepy clown spotted in Chicago cemetery in dead of night

19-overlay16

Police say they don't know who this person dressed up like a clown is - or why they'd scale a cemetery fence and trespass in the dark of night - but it was all caught on tape.

in Sports

Race to succeed Blatter is ‘poker’ game: FIFA executive member

blatter

A number of candidates are expected to vie for the chance to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.