Jason Habinsky in Politico: Meet the Overtime Elite

08/11/2015

When President Barack Obama unveiled his overtime proposal in June, he presented it as a boon for an overburdened middle class, warning that “too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve.” Five million of those struggling workers, he said, would now qualify for overtime pay.

But a tiny percentage of those workers may not exactly be struggling: 36,000 are white-collar workers who earn more than $100,000 a year.

That’s the consequence of a little-noticed provision in an overtime rule that has drawn headlines mainly for requiring overtime pay for people making a lot less money — $23,660 to $50,440 a year. But the boost for people earning six-figure salaries is starting to attract criticism from businesses already opposed to Obama’s proposal...

Six-figure overtime doesn’t appear to be much on the minds of most business lobbyists who oppose the proposed overtime rule — they’re focused more on the lower threshold because it will affect many more people and cost businesses much more money. Jason Habinsky, a partner at Haynes and Boone LLP, said an employer might adapt to the proposed $122,148 threshold by providing employees earning near that amount a bonus or small raise.

“I don’t see it being a huge risk that all of a sudden, people are getting paid $115,000 who are also entitled to overtime,” Habinsky said.

Excerpted from Politico. To read the full article, click here.

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