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In 2004, there was a large fight over overtime rules. Workers who were considered management were exempt from coverage.

The Bush administration expanded that exemption to include many jobs that were not remotely managerial in nature, such as truckers and nurses. This was the first revision of the law in 50 years.

Reich, who is advising the John Kerry presidential campaign, said the rules redefine the term "executive" to include manual workers who sometimes supervise two or three people. He also says another 1 or 2 million "team leaders" who don’t supervise anyone will lose overtime eligibility by being reclassified as "administrators."

This was never the intent of the law and we should work to change it. I have not been able to find many mentions of this on most people's radar.

Understandably, there are a lot of Bush-era mistakes to fix. But this is one way to tilt the balance in favor of workers, and allowing them to have more money in their hand can also help spur economic growth.

Try to write to your Senator and Representatives especially if there are on the labor committees.

As always,

I have been a dkos reader for many years (since the pre-scoop days, y'all!) but I have not written many diaries because I am pretty sensitive to criticism. So you will have to forgive me if I don't respond to comments.

Originally posted to bay of arizona on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "Only vigilance and resistance to this baby dictator, Barack Hussein Obama, can prevent the Khmer Rouge from appearing in this country." Michael Savage

    by bay of arizona on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:59:21 AM PDT

  •  Obama could do this (0+ / 0-)

    Although I'm sure he'd get a lot of flak from the Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, the restaurant associations, etc., especially in our blessed economy. I believe this was a rule change, worked out by Bush and Elaine--spit!--Chao.

  •  I'm surprised you remembered this. (0+ / 0-)

    It's been a while.

    I think that was precisely the intent of the law, though.  It just wasn't immediately obvious from the language, so as to make it less controversial.

  •  The sad truth about overtime pay... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is that even under the previous laws, lots of employers didn't follow the rules.  When my firm sued a company on behalf of an employee who was denied overtime pay, I learned a lot about the lengths to which employers will go to get around non-exempt status for clearly non-exempt positions.  It's stunning, really.

    For example, employers will designate a janitor as "manager of custodial arts" or some such shit, to avoid paying overtime.  Just because you call someone a manager doesn't mean they are one, but lots of people get screwed because they don't know what the laws are and figure that if their employers tell them they're exempt, they must be exempt.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 12:26:51 PM PDT

    •  My co (5+ / 0-)

      Egregiously abused exempt status for IT folks.  We looked it up and at the time (8 years ago) anyone making under 60k was ineligible for exempt.  We had a ton of 30-40-50k workers salary exempt.  We all filled out a timesheet, oddly enough, and had to record our time off and accumulate pto.  But we were never to ever ever ever fill out more than 40 hours.

      I worked 50-60 hours a week throughout my late 20's and early 30's.  It finally ended up ruining my marriage . . .

      On another note, Reagan also classified ketchup as a vegetable.

      I mean, come on.  Will the idiocy never end?

      "There he goes again! Who's laughing now, betch?" -- Jimmy Carter

      by slippytoad on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 12:48:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My large corporate employer (0+ / 0-)

        ...regularly tells us that our salaries are calculated on the basis of a fifty-hour workweek, even if everyone is only scheduled for forty hours.  If we get stuck working hours late (as we frequently do), it is gratis.

        And I am not management, just a telephone tech support person.

        Free Muntadhar al-Zeidi, Hero of Iraq!

        by Subversive on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 03:59:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not far enough... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melpomene1, winter outhouse

    we should temporarily forbid any type of overtime work for salaried workers and force companies to hire more people instead. Companies have and will keep abusing no-pay overtime for salaried people.

    Most everyone in our department works at least 45 hours when they are supposed to only work 37.5 per week. At 20 people that's a full time position right there!

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