This isn't the first thread authored on O/T & the Bush Administration stealing it from the working folks, but it is a solid compendeum for those
who feel they might be affected to look for answers.
Will all workers lose their overtime rights under the new rules?
A: Not all workers will lose eligibility, but many will. The Economic Policy Institute has estimated 6 million workers will lose their eligibility.
Who is most likely to lose overtime rights under the new rules?
A: Congress originally intended for the exceptions (called “exemptions”) to the 40-hour workweek to be limited to “executive” management,
“administrative” management, “professionals” such as doctors and lawyers and outside salespeople. The new Bush rules expand those categories beyond
all recognition, and far beyond what Congress originally intended, so that all kinds of workers who are not truly management or professionals or
outside salespeople will now be ineligible for overtime pay. Workers who have only minimal supervisory responsibilities may now be considered “pay
executive” management; workers who perform some administrative work but are not in any sense managers may now be considered “administrative”
management; and workers such as embalmers, athletic trainers and chefs who have never gone to culinary arts school may now be considered
“professionals,” just like doctors and lawyers. The new rules also expand the exempt category of outside salespeople to include many workers who
perform even a relatively minor amount of sales work outside the employer’s place of business, such as delivery drivers. In addition, many workers who
are currently entitled to overtime because they are not paid on a salary basis, such as registered nurses, may now be considered salaried under the
new rules and therefore lose their overtime eligibility.
Will only “white-collar” workers lose their overtime rights, or will blue-collar workers also be vulnerable?
A: Most workers affected by the Bush overtime rules are “white-collar” workers, but some “blue-collar” workers also will be affected. Workers who
perform manual work exclusively are entitled to overtime pay under current rules and will continue to be under the new Bush rules. But the blue-collar
workers who will be more vulnerable under the new Bush rules are those who perform some combination of manual work and supervisory work, such as
working foremen or working supervisors, as well as those who perform some combination of manual work and administrative work or “team leader”
responsibilities. Blue-collar workers who work outside the employer’s place of business, such as repair persons who perform some sales work or could
be assigned some sales work, will also be vulnerable. The Bush administration has added a new provision that pretends to protect “blue collars” but
does not address any of the situations in which blue-collar workers are likely to be affected by the new regulations.
Will hourly workers be affected by the new overtime rules?
A: Yes. Technically, workers must be “salaried” rather than “hourly” to be ineligible for overtime pay. But the new Bush overtime rules make it easier
for workers who are now considered “hourly” to be considered “salaried.” Furthermore, the new rules loosen the other eligibility criteria, so that it
will be a simple matter for employers to convert hourly employees into salaried employees in order to avoid paying them overtime. In fact, the Labor
Department admitted last year that this is exactly what employers would do.
Does President Bush have the authority to take away people’s overtime all by himself?
A: Yes, but there are limits to his authority, and Congress can stop him. The rules that determine who is eligible and who is not eligible for
overtime pay are contained in federal regulations. The president has the authority to revise those eligibility regulations without the involvement of
Congress, and that is what President Bush has done. If Congress does not intervene, Bush’s new overtime cuts will start to take effect Aug. 23, 2004.
But even after Aug. 23, Congress still has the power to pass legislation repealing the Bush overtime cuts. In other words, whatever Congress does
trumps whatever President Bush does, but President Bush can get his way if Congress does not act. There have been repeated attempts in Congress to
pass legislation protecting workers’ overtime rights, but so far President Bush and his allies in Congress have blocked legislation that would provide
an overtime guarantee. When Congress returns in September, there will be attempts to get the House of Representatives to pass legislation already
passed by the Senate that protects workers’ overtime rights.
The Bush Administration's O/T pay take away FAQ's