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 Local

Foul Play Not Suspected in Death of Southern Illinois Woman

jeannie schuur

Authorities in southern Illinois say foul play is not suspected in the death of a 22-year-old Murphysboro woman whose body…

in Local

Prosecutors: Man Eyed Targets After Brother Shot

corey morgan

Investigators say a Chicago man suspected in the fatal shooting of a 9-year-old boy went looking for targets after his brother was killed during a months-long gang feud.

in Local

Lawyers for Schock Say Documents Handed Over to Prosecutors

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Attorneys for former Illinois congressman Aaron Schock say they have reached an agreement with federal prosecutors on documents currently under review by a federal judge.

in Local

Senate Democratic Candidates Seek Backing From Big Names

Tammy Duckworth

Some powerful Democrats in Illinois are backing different candidates in the party’s U.S. Senate primary.

in Local

Man Killed After Shooting Inside Home


Incident happened around 3:30am on East Brown.