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Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

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    Last Updated: December 5, 2014


    Paul Fernhout writes: Nick Hanauer is a billionaire who made his fortune as one of the original investors in Amazon. He suggests President Obama should restore U.S. overtime regulations to how they worked in the 1970s to boost the economy. Quoted by PBS NewsHour: “In 1975, more than 65 percent of salaried American workers earned time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over 40 hours a week. Not because capitalists back then were more generous, but because it was the law. It still is the law, except that the value of the threshold for overtime pay — the salary level at which employers are required to pay overtime — has been allowed to erode to less than the poverty line for a family of four today. Only workers earning an annual income of under $23,660 qualify for mandatory overtime. Many millions of Americans are currently exempt from the overtime rules — teachers, federal employees, doctors, computer professionals, etc. — and corporate leaders are lobbying hard to expand “computer professional” to mean just about anybody who uses a computer. Which is almost everybody. But were the Labor Department instead to narrow these exemptions, millions more Americans would receive the overtime pay they deserve. … The twisted irony is, when you work more hours for less pay, you hurt not only yourself, you hurt the real economy by depressing wages, increasing unemployment and reducing demand and innovation. Ironically, when you earn less, and unemployment is high, it even hurts capitalists like me.” If overtime pay is generally good for the economy, should most IT professionals really be exempt from overtime regulations?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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