Obama overtime plan already stirring controversy
President Barack Obama’s move to make more workers eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay is being hailed by Democrats who see it as a potent midterm election issue and condemned by Republicans and business leaders as presidential overreach. Supporters say it will help the still fragile economy, critics say it will damage it further. It is likely to affect millions of American workers. Currently, salaried workers making more than $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, aren’t eligible for time-and-a-half overtime if some of their work is considered supervisory, even though many spend most of their day doing manual, clerical, or technical work with few management duties. Obama signed a presidential memorandum Thursday directing the Labor Department to devise new overtime rules “to ensure that workers are paid fairly for a hard day’s work.” The move clearly has angered business groups and congressional Republicans, but it fits in with the overall Democratic midterm election game plan of focusing on income inequality and the middle class at the same time the stock market has soared. Washington Post, 3-14-14.