Biden rule would give overtime protections to millions more workers

A new proposed rule would extend overtime pay to 3.6 million more salaried workers, ensuring they receive extra pay for long hours, the Department of Labor announced Wednesday.

The rule would guarantee overtime pay for most salaried workers earning less than $1,059 per week, or about $55,000 per year. It will go through a notice of proposed rulemaking for public comment for 60 days and comes after the Biden administration reached out to employers, workers and unions to inform the proposal.

The rule would also involve automatically updating the salary threshold every three years to reflect current earnings data in order to prevent future erosion of overtime protections.

And it would restore a Labor Department regulation that was practiced from 2004-19 but ended during the Trump administration that ensured workers in U.S. territories who are subject to federal minimum wage have the same overtime protections.

“For over 80 years, a cornerstone of workers’ rights in this country is the right to a 40-hour workweek, the promise that you get to go home after 40 hours or you get higher pay for each extra hour that you spend laboring away from your loved ones,” acting Labor Secretary Julie Su said in a statement. 

“I’ve heard from workers again and again about working long hours, for no extra pay, all while earning low salaries that don’t come anywhere close to compensating them for their sacrifices,” she said. 

Su was nominated by President Biden for the Labor secretary post in February but has not been confirmed by the Senate, with her nomination at a standstill due in part to a lack of support from moderate Democrats.

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