President Obama proposes to make almost 5 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay. Business groups are crying foul. Fred Katayama reports.
Nearly 5 million more Americans could become eligible for overtime pay. For those putting in more than 40 hours a week, President Obama proposed more than doubling the salary threshold which qualifies for O-T pay to $50,440 from the current $23,660. He disclosed his plan in an editorial on the Huffington Post website. It's his bid to fix income inequality and reach out to the middle class. And the announcement comes as candidates gear up for the presidential election next year. Obama wrote, "A hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay. That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America." Employers could react by paying the overtime premium or cutting workers' hours back under the 40-hour weekly threshold. Business groups are crying foul and contending it's a jobs killer. U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president Randy Johnson said, "This change is another example of the administration being completely divorced from reality and adding more burdens to employers and expecting them to just absorb the impact." The change in regulations reportedly won't require Congressional approval. But it could face legal challenges.