August 20, 2004
Starting on Monday, you may face a pay cut.
That's because the Bush Administration is imposing new rules governing overtime pay.
And those rules will strip six million workers of the overtime they've customarily been receiving, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute.
While the rule change will help some low-wage workers, it also lets employers exempt workers from overtime if they do some "professional, administrative, or executive" duties. The old rule said that you were exempt only if you spent most of your time on such duties.
Now any Harvard MBA worth his salt shaker will go down his payroll and start crossing people off the OT list if they are doing anything that remotely resembles professional, administrative, or executive duties.
Just take the word "administrative" and think how many tasks fall into that category, and you get a sense of how wide the employer's discretion will now be to ice people off OT.
Or the word "professional," for that matter.
Everyone from nursery school teachers to computer programmers will be affected.
And since many workers in today's economy depend on overtime pay to make ends meet, this Bush-League rule will bring them real hardship.