Labor Dept. changes overtime rules

April 20, 2004 at 4:24 PM

WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Labor Tuesday issued rules that expand the number of white-collar workers eligible for overtime pay.

The announcement by Labor Secretary Elaine Chao marked a pullback from a Bush administration plan to change overtime pay announced last year.

Chao said the new rules -- called "FairPay" -- would assure overtime for some 6.7 million workers who make up to $23,660 if they work more than 40 hours in a given week, including 1.3 million salaried white-collar workers who were not entitled to overtime pay under the existing regulations.

"With the 'FairPay' rule we are restoring overtime to what it Was intended to be -- fair pay for workers, instead of a lawsuit lottery," Chao said in a release. "And we will use these new clear standards to vigorously enforce the overtime laws on behalf of workers."

The new plan, the first update in a half century, is to take affect in mid August.

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