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The US Department of Labor today proposed a new threshold for overtime pay eligibility.

Most salaried workers earning less than $1,059 per week, or about $55,000 per year, would be eligible for overtime pay under the proposed rule. The Labor Department said that 3.6 million salaried workers would be affected.

“For over 80 years, a cornerstone of workers’ rights in this country is the right to a 40-hour workweek, the promise that you get to go home after 40 hours or you get higher pay for each extra hour that you spend laboring away from your loved ones,” Acting Secretary Julie Su said. “I’ve heard from workers again and again about working long hours, for no extra pay, all while earning low salaries that don’t come anywhere close to compensating them for their sacrifices.” 

Today’s announcement follows months of outreach by the department to employers, workers, unions and other stakeholders. The department held 27 listening sessions with more than 2,000 participants to inform the proposed rule.

The proposed rule, according to the DOL, would:

  • Restore and extend overtime protections to low-paid salaried workers who do not get paid time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a week.
  • Better identify which employees are executive, administrative or professional employees who should be exempt from receiving overtime pay.
  • Automatically update the salary threshold every three years to reflect current earnings data.
  • Restore overtime protections in US territories, where the overtime threshold applied from 2004 until 2019.

Upon publication in the Federal Register, the notice of proposed rulemaking will be open for public comment for 60 days.

Read industry reaction to the rule here.

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