New pay rule boon for workers, better pay far outweighs ‘prestige loss’

Associate professor Adam Seth Litwin of Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations School, comments on the overtime change that will impact an estimated 12 million workers under a federal Department of Labor regulation.

Salaried employees earning less than $47,476 annually will be guaranteed overtime for work time exceeding 40 hours per week. The current threshold is $23,660. The labor department is slated to update the new threshold every three years to make sure it keeps pace with inflation.



Litwin says:

“More than 12 million people are expected to go from ‘salary work’ to hourly ‘wage work’ and be paid time-and-a-half rate for hours worked beyond the 40-hour work week. 

“Despite what some opponents call a ‘demotion’ to hourly work, it’s expected that the change from salary to hourly wage work will be an immediate monetary boon for workers.

“Our society attaches more status to salaried roles rather than hourly roles. But, for the lion’s share of workers facing this ‘demotion,’ the promise of more money in their pockets far outweighs concern over a decline in status.

“These workers know better than anyone that you can’t eat prestige and that it can’t clothe, feed or supervise your children.”


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