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President Pitches Overtime Rule That Could Raise Wages For 5 Million

President Obama signs a presidential memorandum in March of 2014 that directed the Department of Labor construct a new set of overtime rules, with the goal of making more employees eligible for overtime pay.
Mark Wilson
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President Obama signs a presidential memorandum in March of 2014 that directed the Department of Labor construct a new set of overtime rules, with the goal of making more employees eligible for overtime pay.

President Obama is expected to release this week a long-awaited rule governing overtime that could affect 5 million people as soon as next year, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to NPR.

The proposed rule would more than double the salary cap under which most workers would qualify for overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours a week, the source said. The cap would be raised from $23,660 to $50,440, and indexed to wage growth or inflation, ensuring the cap would move with the overall economy.

The rule is still subject to a lengthy comment period, and is bound to face opposition from the retail and restaurant industries. Unlike the president's push to increase the minimum wage, though, the overtime rule does not require congressional approval.

Politico first reported the details, which were then formally unveiled in a Huffington Post blog post by President Obama. The president will speak about the rule in LaCrosse, Wis., on Thursday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.
Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Science Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C. She started covering consumer health in the midst of the pandemic, reporting on everything from vaccination and racial inequities in access to health, to cancer care, obesity and mental health.
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