As lost wages hit $500 million, progressive state leaders are acting to ensure workers are paid fairly for hours on the job.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On April 1, 2018 the total amount of lost wages since President Trump abandoned the Department of Labor’s overtime pay protections for middle class workers in October 2017 reached $500 million, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In 2016, the Department of Labor updated the requirement that employers pay salaried workers overtime if they earn less than $47,476 a year and work more than 40 hours a week, up from the prior threshold of $23,660. The Trump administration scrapped the new requirements in 2017, leaving millions of working people on the hook for extra hours with no pay.
Progressive legislators and governors in states from coast-to-coast are taking action. In Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere elected officials and advocates are stepping up to say “enough” to extra hours at no pay:
- In Arizona, progressive lawmakers in the state House and the state Senate introduced measures in January 2018 intended to protect worker’s overtime pay. On Thursday, April 5 the State Innovation Exchange will be partnering with Rep. Richard Andrade and the Arizona Center for Economic Progress to host a telephone town hall in which they will discuss this and other crucial issues facing constituents.
- In Pennsylvania, at the direction of Gov. Tom Wolf, the Department of Labor and Industry is finalizing a plan to modernize rules that will extend overtime to up to 460,000 workers in four years of the regulations being put in place.
- In Ohio, progressive lawmakers and advocates held a press conference on Tuesday, April 3 urging action on overtime pay. The announcement won local news coverage from WKBN-TV, WDTN-TV, WOSU- FM, and WXIX-TV.
- In Colorado, progressive advocacy coalitions are calling attention to the need to reform state overtime policies.
- At present, California and New York already require employers to pay overtime to a broader pool of middle class workers than federal law requires under the Trump administration.