LABOR The Trump Administration Is Trying to Take Away the Rights of Millions of Americans to Get Paid for Their Overtime President Trump uses workers as props for photo-ops, but always sides with CEOs. By Heidi Shierholz / Economic Policy Institute August 7, 2017, 9:04 AM GMT 20198 Print 5 COMMENTS CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 28, 2014: Striking Walmart workers and supporters protest against low wages and charge that Walmart retaliates against employees who push for better working conditions. Photo Credit: Marie Kanger Born / Shutterstock.com The morning of July 25, the Trump administration filed a “Request for Information” in an effort to weaken or kill the badly-needed update to the overtime pay rule. Back in 1975, President Gerald Ford’s Labor Department set the level at which workers could be exempt from overtime to the equivalent of about $58,000 in today’s dollars, high enough to cover more than 50 percent of full-time salaried workers. However, by 2016, far too many salaried workers were not covered by overtime protections because the salary threshold had not kept up with wage growth or inflation. The Obama-era rule set it at $47,476—high enough to cover about 34 percent of full-time salaried employees, but lower than the level that it was in the 1970s. The Trump administration has refused to fully implement and enforce the updated rule—first by not challenging a lawsuit and now by opening up a wasteful request for information. By opening up this request for information, the Trump administration is trying to take away the ability of millions of hard working Americans to get overtime pay or more time with their families. The Labor Department does not need more information about overtime pay—they need to support middle-class workers who badly need a raise.
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