More Workers In Michigan Could Get Overtime Thanks To Pro-Labor Governor

More Michigan may soon receive overtime pay.

The Huffington Post reports:

“The state of Michigan plans to expand by a significant margin the number of workers who are eligible for overtime pay, following through on a landmark reform by former President Barack Obama that was stymied by Republicans and the courts.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced Thursday that she is directing the state’s labor department to develop a new rule raising the overtime “threshold” for salaried employees ― the salary below which pretty much all workers are entitled to extra pay when they work long hours.

‘This is certainly something that’s going to help people in the middle class,’ Whitmer told HuffPost in an interview. ‘It’s something that will help more people get into the middle class. It’s an acknowledgment that these are hardworking people who are working more than 40 hours a week. It’s the right thing to do.’

Under the current rules, salaried workers earning less than $23,660 have a clear right to time-and-a-half pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. Obama tried to roughly double that threshold to include millions more workers, but was blocked by a federal judge. The Trump administration is moving forward with a watered-down version of the Obama rule, raising the level to $35,568 in January.

But worker advocates say that new threshold is too low by historic norms, allowing employers to work employees into the ground without an overtime premium.

Whitmer has not proposed a number yet, but under her direction the Michigan labor department would now begin figuring one out. Obama put forth a threshold that today would be roughly $51,000, a figure that will serve as a starting point for Michigan. Were Obama’s proposal law instead of Trump’s, Whitmer’s office estimates that an additional 200,000 Michigan workers would be eligible for overtime pay. Whitmer said Trump’s proposal “isn’t good enough.”

‘We need to show leadership as governors and move forward,’ she said.”

For the rest of the story, visit the Huffington Post here.

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