Millions of people became eligible for overtime pay when the Obama administration issued a new regulation on May 23. The new rule reflects the administration’s commitment to rebuilding the middle class which has shrunk dramatically over the last several decades. However, it excludes middle class Americans who are also public servants in the federal government.
Under the administration’s new rule, most salaried workers making up to $47,476 a year must receive time-and-a-half pay when they work more than 40 hours a week. The previous cutoff for overtime pay was $23,660. The new threshold applies to workers in the private sector and will be updated every three years.
“Our federal workforce is the best in the world and pursuing this change is not only fair and equitable, but it will extend the administration’s commitment to increasing pay for working families,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said in a letter to Office of Personnel Management Director Beth Cobert. “I urge you to extend this policy so that OPM can set the tone of respecting and protecting federal employees to the same degree as non-federal employees.”
The Department of Labor noted that the old threshold, established in the 1970s, was woefully out of date and didn't keep pace with inflation. AFGE agrees and is urging the administration and Congress to extend this rule to cover federal employees as well.