Obama says he's working to boost overtime pay for all

March 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 15 (UPI) -- President Obama on Saturday said he ordered a review of the United States' overtime rules in an effort to make them work for more than just a "fortunate few."

"This week, I ordered a review of our nation's overtime rules, to give more Americans the chance to earn the overtime pay they've worked for," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

"We've got to build an economy that works for everybody, not just a fortunate few. We know from our history that our economy grows best from the middle out, when growth is more widely shared. So we've got to restore opportunity for all -- the idea that with hard work and responsibility, you can get ahead."

Obama said a rule originally meant to prevent highly paid employees from being paid overtime at a time-and-a-half rate is now affecting workers making as little as $23,660 a year.

"In some cases, this rule makes it possible for workers earning a salary to actually be paid less than the minimum wage. And it means that business owners who treat their employees fairly can be undercut by competitors who don't," Obama said. "So we're going to update those overtime rules to restore that basic principle that if you have to work more, you should be able to earn more."

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