Trump administration issues proposal to extend mandatory overtime pay

Trump administration issues proposal to extend mandatory overtime pay
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The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a proposal for a rule that would extend overtime pay to about 1 million workers in the U.S. after a similar effort from the Obama administration was struck down by a federal judge.

Reuters reports that the Department of Labor announced the rule's public comment period would begin this month, giving voters a chance to weigh in on issues such as whether the new proposal should automatically rise with inflation, as did the old rule.

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The proposal, unveiled by Labor Secretary Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaOur farmers need a better labor program Three more Epstein accusers sue estate Barr removes prisons chief after Epstein death MORE, would extend overtime benefits to any employee in the U.S. making $35,308 per year or less, higher than the current threshold that mandates overtime pay for those making less than $23,660 a year.

It follows an effort under the Obama administration in 2016 to raise the threshold to around $47,000, which was blocked by a federal judge who ruled that the standard was set too high and would affect some employees not meant to be eligible for overtime benefits.

Acosta told Reuters Thursday that his plan would “bring common sense, consistency, and higher wages to working Americans." The Trump administration's version of the rule affects roughly 3 million fewer workers than did the proposal pursued by the Obama administration.

The secretary previously expressed support for increasing the threshold during his confirmation hearing in 2017, citing cost of living increases affecting all Americans.

“The overtime rule hasn’t been updated since 2004,” Acosta said at the time. “It’s unfortunate that rules that involve dollar values can sometimes go more than a decade, sometimes 15 years, without being updated. Because life does get more expensive.”