It’s Time to Fix an Outdated Overtime System

Almost all UFCW members are guaranteed overtime pay – 1.5 times their hourly wage – when they work more than 40 hours per week. This is a good thing. People should be paid fairly for all the hours they work and when someone is forced to work extra hours, they deserve extra pay.

Unfortunately, federal overtime laws have become outdated and millions of Americans are being denied the benefit of earning a time-and-a-half wage when they work long hours. Currently, a salaried supervisor making as little as $24,000 per year is exempt from earning overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in one week.

It is likely that UFCW 538 members have witnessed firsthand the negative effects of having such a low overtime salary threshold. Stores we work in will “promote” people into supervisor positions and then force them to work 50 or 60 hour weeks without any extra pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently proposed a new rule to help stop this unfair practice. They are hoping to raise the bar on employers by increasing the salary threshold to $50,440 per year. If implemented into law, this rule will extend the right to earn overtime to more than 5 million workers.

By preventing businesses from taking advantage of low salary workers, hard working men and women across the country will see immediate benefits. Salaried workers who used to work 50 or 60 hour weeks will now be paid fairly for their extra work or be given more time to spend with their families. Other workers will see a salary bump so that they will exceed the new threshold and be once again exempt from earning overtime. Most importantly, providing more supervisory positions with overtime pay will make more hours available to people who want and need to work extra hours.

This new overtime rule is not official yet. The Department of Labor is asking people to comment on it to gauge whether or not it has sufficient support. Please take a few minutes to show your support for this rule by visiting:

www.ufcwaction.org/overtime

Thank you in advance for signing the petition and putting this rule on the path to implementation. Helping to ensure more workers are paid fairly for the hours they work is good for all of us.

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