House Dem extends Obama’s overtime rule to his staffers

House Dem extends Obama’s overtime rule to his staffers
© Greg Nash

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) announced Monday that he’s extending President Obama’s proposed overtime regulations to his own congressional employees.

The rule would make all salaried workers who earn less than $50,440 per year automatically eligible to earn time-and-a-half pay if they work more than 40 hours a week. Now only workers who make less than 23,660 per year are eligible.

Though Congress does not generally abide by private sector or public sector standards, Gutiérrez said he’s planning to institute the new overtime structure in time for Labor Day and encourages all of his colleagues to do the same.

“Let’s put our money where our mouths are and follow the new overtime rules whether Speaker Boehner makes us or not,” he said in a news release.

Gutiérrez said congressional staffers are not paid a lot and work incredibly hard. He has 18 full-time employees in his offer and more than half of them would be affected by the new policy.

Staffers are paid through the annual lump-sum allotment Congressional offices receive to run their Washington and District offices, known as the Members’ Representational Allowance.

Congress sets overall personnel policies, but Gutiérrez said these are are often out of step with the rest of the federal government and the private sector. 

“I applauded the President when he announced the new regulations so I plan to institute them in my own office, regardless of what the rest of the Congress does or doesn’t do,” he said

The DOL rule is still in the proposed rulemaking stage. The public has until Sept. 4 to submit public comments.