From the NY Times:
President Obama this week will seek to force American businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers, the latest move by his administration to confront corporations that have had soaring profits even as wages have stagnated.
On Thursday, the president will direct the Labor Department to revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as “executive or professional” employees to avoid paying them overtime, according to White House officials briefed on the announcement.
Mr. Obama’s decision to use his executive authority to change the nation’s overtime rules is likely to be seen as a challenge to Republicans in Congress, who have already blocked most of the president’s economic agenda and have said they intend to fight his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25.
Soaring profits, huh? (last time I checked, 5-6% in 2014 was the same as 5-6% in 1980)
Before the leftists here celebrate too much, I can tell you that this will end up hurting the very employees that it purports to help. First, when they are converted from “salaried” to “hourly”, their pay will go down. Second, they’ll have work harder when they’re at work. If a salaried employee needs to stay late, he stays late. If he ends up spending a little time in the office chatting or socializing…at the price of spending a little bit of extra time at the end of the day, so be it. Not with hourly workers! If they aren’t “on task”, a manager goes and slaps them upside the head. Why? If they’re in the middle of a conversation when the clock strikes 8 hours, they are expected to drop everything, clock out, and leave the premises.
And, so far as the idea of this causing employers to hire more people (as asserted later in the article), that is incredibly pollyanish. If an employer had enough work to do to hire an extra FTE, the employer would hire an extra FTE. Hourly people do overtime because there’s extra work, but not enough to justify an FTE. Same with salaried people.
Geez, I love it when the government tries to “help”.