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Persevere
My Democrat friends have been going on and on about a bill that the Bush administration has been trying to "sneak" through that would severely curtail overtime pay for extra hours worked (paying only straight pay instead). Does anyone out there have an unbiased explanation of what's really going on?
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Amlord
You could certainly ask this in the Domestic Policy forum. There really is no reason that a non-Republican couldn't answer this one in a straightforward manner.

Here is my take:

The proposal was basically that "management level" positions did not require overtime pay compensation. There are a few other guidelines, dealing with pay rate and whether you are salary or hourly.

Here is an excellent summary of the plan.

QUOTE
Under the current rules, any employee making more than $155 a week -- about $8,000 per year -- could be excluded from overtime, if they had a salary and a job description that fell into certain categories.

The good news is that the regulations would raise that cut-off amount to $425 a week -- about $22,100 per year -- actually adding about 1.3 million lower-wage workers to the ranks of people eligible for overtime, according to the Labor Department.

But the EPI study said that gain is more than erased by the rest of the administration's plan.

For one thing, many workers earning a salary of more than $65,000 a year will now be excluded from overtime -- at least 1.3 million workers, according to the EPI study.



There is also the changing of certain job descriptions, making more jobs ineligible for overtime.

Actually, ineligible is the wrong word. The term should be "not mandated", since an employer is free to pay overtime to anyone.

The problem here is that people automatically jump to the "worst case scenario." If there is a loophole, some people assume that businesses will automatically jump through it.

Statements such as:
QUOTE
"Once employers are not required to pay for overtime work, they will schedule more of it," the study said.


I really don't think that is the case for most companies, who must compete for valuable employees and often outbid other potential employers to hire (or retain) those individuals.

Of course, what do I know? I am a salaried employee who doesn't receive overtime, since I have a "learned" profession. Maybe if I protested more, I could get some boost in income...
Bill55AZ
If it is occasional overtime, companies prefer it to having to hire more people. They have to pay more only for the extra time needed.
If it is regularly scheduled overtime, those who are making the big bucks already and don't NEED the overtime are not helping the unemployment issue.
Perhaps if people were less willing to work overtime, there would be more jobs available.
Desert Resident
Thanks Amlord for including the explanation of the overtime proposal. For decades, I have worked for companies that have stipulated who qualifies for overtime pay and who doesn't...why is this proposal on the table? To standardize the across the board overtime policy?

To add my 2 cents about companies hiring extra personnel rather than paying their current employees overtime....employee benefits are a substantial expense for employers. IMO, it would be cheaper to keep a wrap on excess overtime and pay those already on the payroll rather than hire additional employees with benefits or to contract it out.
overlandsailor
My father was an Electrician for General Motors for 31 years. His base pay, I believe, equated to about $45,000.00 a year. However, he regularly worked 7 days a week, 10+ hours a day. Resulting in narrowly missing or passing the 6 digit mark from year to year.

His success in life was primarily due to overtime pay, his willingness to work those hours and the companies willingness to pay it.

I don't understand why the company thought 30+ hours a week in overtime pay (the equivalent of 45 hours a week in pay at a high seniority rate) was acceptable rather then hiring another person. I suspect it was because the UAW union was strong and if they hired a new man and then didn't need them later it would be very difficult to get rid of them. However, layoffs were always a reality so they did have that tool. It's a weird business decision.

Now that being said, WHY would the President choose to try to change the number of people who get overtime when the payment of overtime is made because the company decided to have current employees work more hours rather then hire more employees?

In my job I work piece work, there is no overtime for me, but I am appalled at the idea that my president is seeking to limit those who get it.

In the old days the separation was primarially salary vs. hourly in terms of OT pay. Now it is the "Definition" of your job if this goes through. As a Loss Prevention "Supervisor" for a retail chain I had some responsiblities in supervising people. The bulk of my job was to prevent internal and external theft but I did supervise cashiers and cash flow occasionally. In the new definition, my occasional "supervision" would be enough for my employer at the time to say I did not qualify for OT pay any longer. Even though I was hourly and making less then 20,000 a year. If my job requires more then 40 hours a week and my employer does not wish to hire somone else to handle it then why should I not be compensated for that?

Now, another problem is mandatory OT. If we are going to expand the definitions and thus cut more people out of access to OT pay then we need to include in this change the abolishment of Mandatory OT. How is it fair for a worker to be required to work 50 hours a week and not get any financial bonus for going over 40? What will this do to the 40 hour week norm we have in this country? More to the point how does that promote expanded employment?

The President is way off base on this one. I am disappointed in his support of this. And I am even more disappointed in his idiotic choice to bring this up going into an election year.

I know many union members, myself included, who are closet Republicans. We are a rather large voting block within the unions of America. With this issue on the table, there is no way working class men and women on the fence will vote for Bush.

Even though this issue does not effect me directly, It causes me to question my vote in this election and as many have noted on here I am a die-hard Republican.

This issue could cost the president the election. Do not underestimate how many union members quietly vote conservative every election.
overlandsailor
QUOTE
I know many union members, myself included, who are closet Republicans. We are a rather large voting block within the unions of America. With this issue on the table, there is no way working class men and women on the fence will vote for Bush.

Even though this issue does not effect me directly, It causes me to question my vote in this election and as many have noted on here I am a die-hard Republican.

This issue could cost the president the election. Do not underestimate how many union members quietly vote conservative every election.




Doesn't anyone else in the party consider this an issue worth discussing? This Overtime pay issue could quite possibly cost Bush the election all by itself.
averagejoe
I am voting for Kerry because of this issue. My employer is already taking steps to classify my blue collar job as a "managerial" position. Here in California there are more job seekers than employers and there is no incentive for employers to "voluntarily" give OT to thier employees. Anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously deluded. Any jobs that can possibly be "altered" to fit in the exempt category will. The manager at Mc Donalds making 8 dollars an hour, the drywall installer who is occasionally told to supervise another employee, the secretaries and receptionists who will all be reclassified as administrative assistants etc...the list goes on.
The economy is going to be seriously affected by this and we will all feel it's effect eventually.[FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial]
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