Obama’s Egregious Overtime Rules Attack Prosperity and Worker Rights

The Department of Labor’s new regulation regarding working hours ranks among the most outrageously destructive actions by the Obama administration in its two-term history. It is going to profoundly affect the lives of many millions of people, shattering dreams and smashing the human rights of workers to negotiate, produce, and achieve.

By executive fiat, the Department has now said that time-and-a-half rules on worker pay apply to workers earning up to $47,476 per year (such specificity!) whereas they used to apply only up $23,660. The new rules apply to salaried as well as hourly workers. High-level executives (along with teachers and doctors) are exempt (how people will be classified is determined by a complicated test).

An Obama administration spokesman said this is designed to address “both underpay and overwork.” Because a law alone cannot magically produce wealth, it will not address underpay. Employers do not have a secret closet stuffed with cash to which they have been denying workers access. Instead, workers will be cut back and/or reclassified by force of law.