Trump administration expands eligibility for overtime pay to 1.3M people

The U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a rule on Sept. 24 that would alter earnings thresholds to make more than 1 million American workers eligible for overtime pay, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

The new rule will raise salary and compensation levels necessary to exempt employees from national minimum wage and overtime requirements. Doing so will expand minimum wage and overtime pay to an estimated 1.2 million workers within the parameters of the Fair Labor Standards Act's "standard salary level" — now those who earn less than $35,568 per year, up from $23,660 — and will entitle another 101,800 "highly compensated employees" to overtime earnings.

"For the first time in over 15 years, America's workers will have an update to overtime regulations that will put overtime pay into the pockets of more than a million working Americans," Patrick Pizzella, acting U.S. secretary of labor, said in a statement. "This rule brings a commonsense approach that offers consistency and certainty for employers as well as clarity and prosperity for American workers."

The current standards were enacted during the Bush administration in 2004, according to The New York Times. Under the Obama administration, the Labor Department attempted to install even higher thresholds to cover millions more workers, with the standard salary level set at about $47,500, but a federal judge invalidated that rule before it could be enacted.

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