“The Obama administration’s announcement that it will ask the Department of Labor to revise rules regarding overtime pay is a very welcome and badly needed move to promote fair pay by requiring employers to pay more low-wage workers the wages they rightfully deserve for overtime work. Coercive overtime is a huge problem in this country and millions of women and men are forced to work more than 40 hours per week without compensation because of outdated employment classifications and salary thresholds. When this happens, workers, families, communities, and ultimately our economy suffer. This recalibration of who is eligible for overtime pay will mean that more employees who work long hours will get the pay they deserve – at last.
Today in the United States, more than 40 million workers cannot earn a single paid sick day. Nearly nine in ten workers have no paid family or medical leave. Tens of millions of minimum wage workers cannot pay the rent, put food on the table, and clothe their children. Women face a shameful wage gap and for women of color, it is even worse. This executive action will help promote the basic fairness we urgently need in our workplaces and boost the economic security of women and working families. We commend the administration for taking this step.
As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, it’s time to get our country’s public policies out of the ‘Mad Men’ era, and this is one step in the right direction. All workers deserve to be paid for all the time they work, and this executive action will help make that happen. It is good not only for workers and families, but also for our economy.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families drafted and led the fight for the Family and Medical Leave Act. The organization is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.