Van Hollen Supports President’s Decision Expanding Overtime Pay Protection

He says it will benefit 80,000 Marylanders.

Eighth District Congressman Chris Van Hollen says President Obama’s decision to expand overtime pay protection for more workers is a big step forward for the economic security of American families.

The President on Wednesday announced that he is increasing the threshold for those who work 40-hours a week who can be covered by overtime. “If you;’re paid below {$47,476} a year, and you work overtime, you can get overtime pay. You will get overtime pay,” says Van Hollen. “That makes an enormous difference to a lot of working families, and is estimated to impact about 80,00 Marylanders.”

The former threshold, implemented in the 1970’s, was set at $23,000. “Since the mid-1970’s, you’ve seen worker productivity rising. But wages for the overwhelmingly number of working people have remained relatively flat. All of the gains from that increased worker productivity, almost of all of them, have flowed to the top 1%,” says Van Hollen.

The changes instituted by the President are expected to boost the pay of 4.2-million workers, and will cover salaried as well as hourly workers.

Business groups who are opposed say companies will probably switch a lot of salaried workers to hourly, and instead of bigger paychecks, some salaried workers could be assigned lesser hours.

But labor groups say this change is long overdue, and that many people working 50 to 60 hours a week are actually earning less than the minimum wage when their hours are taken into account.

Van Hollen says it’s only fair. “As corporations and businesses do better, their rank and file employees should be compensated in a fair way for their overtime work, when they’re working more than 40-hours a week,” he says.

The new policy takes effect December 1st.