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Trump Cuts Workers Wages

US DOL reverses Overtime Rule and takes away raises for millions

Brian Young's picture
Jul 26, 2017

On Wednesday, the Department of Labor will take the first step in rolling back the Obama era overtime rule, costing 4.2 million people raises and continuing the circle of exploitation of workers.

The Overtime rule increased the salary threshold that employers were required to meet before they could classify someone as a salaried worker who they did not have to pay overtime to.  Many companies, especially fast food retailors like Dunkin Donuts, would classify any worker making over $23,660 a year as a manager and then require them to work unpaid hours of overtime. This sometimes even caused employees hourly incomes to drop below the minimum wage. The Obama rule would have increased that threshold to $47,000. The rate has remained unchanged for over a decade when it was last raised in 2004.

When Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was nominated, he promised to stop the implantation of the overtime rule and rewrite it.  This was no surprise since he had the support of many pro-business, anti-union groups including noted union busters Ogletree Deakins. With the new announcement that they will delay and rewrite the Overtime Rule, he has kept that promise to his anti-worker benefactors.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP), a union backed group that was instrumental in lobbying the Labor Department on the Overtime Rule, said that the decision is a slap in the face to millions who have waited for a raise. Instead their raises will go to millionaire CEO’s and shareholders.

With the threshold at just $23,660, a person working 40 hours a week is making only $11 an hour. Under the current law if an employer asks that employee to work just 10 extra hours a week unpaid, their hourly rate will drop below the minimum wage in many states.  Some of the employees who spoke out in favor of raising the Overtime threshold reported working upwards of 60 hours a week.

In stopping the implementation of the Overtime Rule, Acosta announced that they were reopening the entire process. This means that they will once again begin taking comments from the public and from industry lobbyists.  While Acosta’s statement may make it seem like the Obama administration didn’t do their due diligence, Acosta is pushing more fake news.  According to NELP over 300,000 public comments were submitted to the Department of Labor and the vast majority of them were supportive of raising the threshold.

Acosta and his boss Trump are once again showing how out of touch with reality they are.  While Trump claims to want to bring jobs back to the United States and Make America Great Again, decisions like this are keeping millions of people in poverty.  Some of the fastest growing industries are the main abusers of this loophole.  By taking away raises for these people, Trump is helping to stall the economy and hurting the American Worker.

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