It seems kind of odd, but in an amazingly quick turn of events on the powerful We the People platform, this week the people won.
Let that sink in for a moment, because it sure doesn't happen every day.
Life's about to change in a radical way for millions of full-time salaried Americans who earn between $23,660 to $47,476 per year who work way too many hours.
If that's you and you didn't do a happy dance yet, stop reading now and click here, then come back, because technically, you're about to get one of two things; overtime pay or a more normal work schedule.
OK, back to earth and down to business. You can read the details yourself in the Fact Sheet: Growing Middle Class Paychecks and Helping Working Families Get Ahead By Expanding Overtime Pay.
I'm interested in two things:
If you are a salaried employee in that pay range, would you prefer the OT pay or the time?
If you are an employer of salaried workers with earnings in that range, what are your plans?
Neither question has easy answers.
The right thing to do (of course) is to compensate people for their work, not give them a salary and work them so many hours they end up earning less than minimum wage, that's exactly what this is meant to prevent. But I predict the cake won't come out of the oven as moist and delicious as the pic looks on the front of the box.
Some companies will likely use a similar strategy to when the Affordable Care Act was passed and mandated that all businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTE) provide health insurance to at least 95% of their full-time employees and dependents up to age 26, or pay a fee. The decision many companies took was to stop hiring full-time employees and reduce hours of existing staff to have more employees work part-time, effectively skirting the new rules. Think fast food restaurants where all or the vast majority of employees are part-time (and barely earning over minimum wage). There were even companies that made the decision to fold it up rather than provide the opportunity to have healthcare to their low wage earning full-time staff.
Many employers who have been legally abusive, because wage and hour laws haven't kept up with the economy, are likely to require much leaner practices, maybe cut down on bathroom breaks, insist on higher production (hopefully not at the risk of safety), and rank annual reviews more stringently and with lower ratings, rather than raise pay into that range and be forced to pay it - to squeeze more out in a regular shift and not have to pay a penny more for overtime. And in a lot of cases, the overtime hours salaried employees should earn over 40 hours under the new rules, will go to new part-time employees earning lower hourly rates.
At least employees who have put up with their employer's bloodletting ways on $23,660 - will now have plenty of time to play frisbee in the park with the kids kids, even if they're still not earning enough money to feed them nutritious meals.
Most companies feel that they take all the risk, and have a right to the rewards of fat profit, do what they may within the parameters of the law to make it. Afterall, this is a capitalist nation, and that's hard to argue with.