Judge Blocks 12.5 Million Workers from Receiving Overtime Pay

By Yuqi Wang, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project, NCLR

On November 23, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas blocked the Department of Labor’s (DOL) updated overtime eligibility rule from going into effect by suspending the rule’s December 1 enforcement date. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) updated overtime rule, finalized in May 2016, would have brought employers and workers into the 21st century by increasing the overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. By siding with business interest groups, the Court’s decision is a blow to the 12.5 million workers who were counting on the updated overtime rule to provide them with the right to be compensated fairly for a hard day’s work. Workers in office and administrative positions, transportation and material moving professions, as well as construction occupations are just some of the people severely impacted by this decision.

It’s important to note that, contrary to the Court’s assertion that the DOL exceeded its authority, the agency has had the ability to change the minimum salary threshold for overtime for the past 78 years. In fact, the DOL has updated the salary threshold seven times since the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) became law in 1938.

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Weekly Washington Outlook — June 6, 2016

US Supreme Court 1935 Washington, DC, USA

US Supreme Court 1935 Washington, DC, USA

What to Watch This Week:



On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will consider a series of non-controversial bills under suspension of the rules.  A full list is available here.

On Thursday and the balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 5325– Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Graves / Appropriations Committee)
  • R. 5278– Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule)(Sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy / Natural Resources Committee)
  • Con.Res. 89– Expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy. (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise / Ways and Means Committee)
  • Con.Res. 112– Expressing the sense of Congress opposing the President’s proposed $10 tax on every barrel of oil. (Subject to a Rule)(Sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany / Ways and Means Committee)


On Monday, the Senate will consider S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act.

White House:

On Monday, the president will welcome the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos to the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl 50 victory.

On Tuesday, President Obama will meet with Prime Minister Modi of India at the White House. The visit will highlight the deepening of the U.S.-India relationship in key areas since the President’s visit to New Delhi in January 2015

On Wednesday, the president will travel to New York to attend a DSCC event and a DNC event.

On Thursday, President Obama will host a reception at the White House in recognition of LGBT Pride Month.

On Friday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.

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New Overtime Rule to Boost Economic Outlook for America’s Middle-Class Latino Families

From 1975 until yesterday afternoon, American workers making more than $23,660 per year were ineligible for federal overtime protection. Thanks to an update to that rule from the U.S. Department of Labor, the threshold on overtime pay has now been raised to include all employees earning less than $47,476 per year.

TimeforOT_Sharegraphic-02 (2)Approximately 12.5 million Americans will now be able to benefit from overtime pay. Of those, more than two million Latinos, or one in three of all salaried Latino employees, will be eligible for overtime, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

The news of the updated overtime rule is a welcome respite for American workers who, for too long, were working well over 40 hours per week without receiving appropriate compensation. The rule will also go a long way to closing the extreme pay gap felt by women and minorities.

“We are very pleased that the administration has acted on behalf of America’s workers who are the backbone of our economy. The rule will help ensure middle-class workers are able to see a greater benefit from their hard work. This rule will not only help individual families better meet their own needs, but will create additional economic stimulus and spending that will improve our nation’s overall economic outlook,” said NCLR Vice President Eric Rodriguez.

More information about the updated overtime rule and overtime coverage can be found on the the Department of Labor’s website.

It’s Time to Update Overtime Pay

For the good of American workers, President Obama and the Department of Labor must update the Overtime Salary Threshold

While the cost of living has increased substantially over the last few decades, many government policies have not kept up with it. The overtime salary threshold establishes the maximum salary a worker can make while qualifying for overtime pay. The current threshold, $23,660 per year, is decades-old and lower than the poverty line for a family of four, which is set at $24,008.

The Department of Labor is now considering an update to the overtime rule that would raise that threshold from $23,660 to $50,440, helping 13.5 million workers, which includes 2.1 million Latinos, to receive overtime pay. The economic freedom and stability that comes from earning a fair wage cannot be overstated.

Unfortunately, some members of Congress are attempting to stall consideration of updating the overtime rule, potentially costing millions of Americans the right to earn the pay they deserve. 34.4 percent of all salaried Latino workers would be affected by a reversal of this important policy.


NCLR has joined with 19 other organizations calling on President Obama and the Department of Labor to implement the proposed update to the overtime salary threshold so millions of Americans, and their families, can lead stable, productive lives. To allow the rule to stay as it has, or even be reversed, would be detrimental to our nation’s economy and workers.

Add your name to our petition telling the President, members of Congress, and the Department of Labor to make this crucial update official. After signing, you will be sent a confirmation email. If you do not confirm your signature through the email, it will not count towards the total number.

Note: This petition is integrated with WhiteHouse.gov’s “We The People” petition platform. If the petition receives 100,000 signatures, the White House will be required to issue an official response.

Help Overtime Make It Past the Finish Line for 13.5 Million Workers

MisHorasExtras_Sharegraphic_Fb_ENG2Congressional Republicans are looking to use an obscure tactic to deny 13.5 million American workers the right to receive overtime pay.

If the White House doesn’t act quickly, Republicans might actually pull it off.

This summer, the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to implement a new overtime rule, which would raise the overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $50,440—strengthening the right of 13.5 million additional workers, 2.1 million of whom are Latino, to receive overtime pay and the right to earn a fair living.

Unfortunately, certain members of Congress are eager to steal this victory from workers by running out the clock on President Obama. The Congressional Review Act dictates that all major rules are delayed for 60 legislative days after they are submitted to Congress and are subject to a fast track process for repeal. That process has to end before President Obama leaves office to guarantee a veto of any congressional resolution of disapproval.

If the Labor Department does not act soon, Congress will reverse this critical protection for millions of workers, including 34.4 percent of all salaried Latino workers.

Sign the petition calling on President Obama and the Department of Labor to implement a new overtime rule that will increase workers’ wages and rebuild our middle class.

Note: This petition is integrated with whitehouse.gov’s “We The People” petition platform. If we get 100,000 signatures the White House will send an official response. Please add your name, then click the confirmation email after signing. If you don’t click the confirmation email, your signature won’t count.