Monday, August 23, 2004

Restoring Overtime Security for Millions of Working Americans

8/23/2004 12:08:00 PM

To: National Desk and Labor Reporter

Contact: Lisa Kruska of the U.S. Department of Labor, 202-693-4676

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 /U.S. Newswire/ -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced today that the final rules governing overtime eligibility for white-collar workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act are now in effect. The newly updated Overtime Security Rule strengthens and protects overtime pay for 6.7 million American workers. The new rules clarify and update ambiguous and confusing overtime regulations that were first created in 1939 and have not been substantially updated since 1949.

"6.7 million workers will see their overtime protections strengthened under the new Overtime Security Rule," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "Under the new rules, workers will know their overtime rights, employers will know their responsibilities and the department can more vigorously enforce these protections. In addition, the department has undertaken the most extensive compliance outreach on any regulation in its history to help employers comply with the new rules," added Chao.

The new rule expands the number of workers eligible for overtime by nearly tripling the salary threshold. Under the previous 50-year-old regulations, only workers earning less than $8,060 annually or $155 per week were guaranteed overtime. Under the new rule, workers paid less than $23,660 or $455 per week are now automatically guaranteed overtime regardless of their titles or duties. A number of salaried workers earning above this threshold will also gain the right to overtime under the new, stronger rules. This strengthens overtime protections for 6.7 million low-wage salaried workers, including 1.3 million salaried white collar workers who were not entitled to overtime pay under the previous regulations. Businesses will have to pay an additional $375 million and workers will gain that amount in additional earnings every year.

Hourly workers are guaranteed overtime regardless of how much they are paid. Blue collar and manual laborers and workers, such as construction workers, operating engineers, carpenters, and longshoremen are also guaranteed overtime under these newly effective rules. Police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, licensed practical nurses and other first responders now have strengthened overtime protections. Union workers under collective bargaining agreements are not impacted.

With the new Overtime Security Rule, the U.S. Department of Labor, which has set new records for aggressive Wage and Hour enforcement, now has a strong new standard in place to better protect workers' pay.

To learn more about the new overtime security rules go to This website includes fact sheets, video instruction and is searchable. It also tells workers how to file a complaint with the Department of Labor if they believe they are improperly being denied overtime.


U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202- 693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.

/© 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
via U.S. Newswire: Releases: Restoring Overtime Security for Millions of Working Americans; The Department of Labor's New Overtime Security Rules In Effect Today

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Hourly workers are guaranteed overtime regardless of how much they are paid."

Unfortunately, this statement is simply not true. Several occupations, such as Teacher and Computer Professional, are exempt under the new rules even when paid by the hour.