Obama Uses Executive Order For Overtime Increase

obama last news conference of 2013

(CBS News) President Obama has issued another executive order, this time regarding  overtime.

“Overtime’s a pretty simple idea — if you have to work more you should get paid more,” Mr. Obama said from the East Room of the White House, standing next to workers who stand to benefit from the changed rules.

Federal labor rules currently let businesses avoid paying overtime to certain employees, deemed managers or professionals, who make more than $455 a week, a threshold last updated in 2004.

The presidential memorandum directs the secretary of labor to raise that threshold.

The rule, first established in 1975, was originally meant to exempt high-paid white collar employees from getting overtime pay.

Now, however, only 12 percent of salaried workers are guaranteed overtime, according to the White House.

Under the current rules,  an employee could be making just over $23,000 a year and still be above the threshold.

“If you’re making $23,000, typically you’re not high-end management,” President Obama said. “It actually makes it possible for salaried workers to be paid less than the minimum wage.”

The White House will raise the threshold to somewhere between $550 and $970 a week, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports.

An estimated 10 million workers stand to benefit from adjustment, such as fast food managers, department store managers and computer technicians.

Businesses, especially small ones, have expressed concern about increased costs.

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