Overtime as nearly disappeared from the American workplace. I've discussed this before, Kentucky Overtime Lawyer On New Overtime Rules, Overtime & Salaried Workers - So Why Did Overtime Disappear?  but will go over these points again. When I was a kid in the 1970's, specifically in 1975, 65% of salaried workers in the United States were paid overtime; by 2013 that number had dwindled to only 11%. That didn't happen by accident; it happened as a result of lobbying by corporate interests that kept the overtime salary threshold low.

Under present rules to be exempt from overtime (meaning you don't have to paid overtime), a salaried workers has to be paid a minimum of $455.00 per week ($455 divided by 40 = $11.38 per hour). There are other factors that make for the exemption also.  If this threshold were the equivalent to what it was in 1975 (adjusted for inflation) the weekly minimum threshold would be $1327 or $69,000 a year.  

The overtime reform proposed by the Obama Administration would have raised this threshold up to about $49,000, not quite where it should be but at least pretty far on the way. Now a federal judge in Texas (where else?) has blocked this reform from taking effect on December 1. Reports are all over, the New York Times is as good as any, Judge Suspends Rule Expanding Overtime for Millions of Workers. So what now? There could be an appeal but a new President and new Labor Secretary will be in office in two months and will decide whether an appeal is pursued; there could be legislative action. Don't count on either. As amazing as it sounds, this is a political issue and the Republican Party is clearly aligned with the corporate interests on this one. So the likely result: the overtime reform dies on the vine, and Americans continue to work harder and harder. So far the election has solved a lot.

Lexington, Kentucky overtime lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in getting the overtime and wages they've earned but not been paid; contact him at 859-252-7076. 

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