Press Release
‘It’s About Time’ New Overtime Rule Would Mean Greater Economic Security for Millions of Women, Workers and Families

Praising the Obama administration for its proposed rule, which would provide or strengthen overtime protections for nearly 13.5 million salaried workers in this country, the majority of whom are women, the National Partnership for Women & Families today filed comments with the U.S. Department of Labor urging swift implementation. The rule would help 44 percent of single mothers and 32 percent of married mothers who are currently exempt from overtime protections by making them automatically eligible for overtime pay in 2016, the comments say.

“This rule is a bold step to give millions of workers a badly needed and long overdue raise,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “These are people who struggle to put food on the table, pay bills and provide for their families, despite working long hours. Women will be helped most because when the rule is adopted, more than a third of currently exempt women workers and nearly half of currently exempt black and Hispanic women workers will be covered, which could put hundreds of dollars in additional pay in their pockets each week and bolster their economic security. The proposed rule would prevent blatant worker exploitation. It should be finalized as is and without delay. It’s about time.”

The proposed rule would raise the overtime salary threshold to $970 per week, or $50,440 per year, and establish a mechanism to update it automatically in the future. That threshold would entitle 40 percent of workers to overtime pay, which is “entirely reasonable,” the comments say. Right now, only hourly workers and salaried workers making less than $23,660 per year — below the poverty line for a family of four — qualify for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week.

In its comments, the National Partnership also praised the rule for reinforcing the importance of the 40-hour workweek, supporting the millions of workers who are unpaid caregivers for family members, and increasing the number of women who are entitled to breastfeeding protections in the workplace under the Affordable Care Act.

It has been three decades since the regulations that govern overtime pay have been updated in a meaningful way.

The National Partnership’s comments are available here.

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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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