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The Department of Labor (DOL) announced May 18 that millions of white-collar, salaried workers would now qualify for overtime pay. Currently, those earning more than $23,660 are exempt from overtime rules, but that threshold will go up to $47,476, increasing the eligibility of 4.2 million salaried workers.

According to The Washington Post, labor leaders have been fighting for years to raise the ceiling and have pointed out that currently many classified as exempt from overtime have been working 50-and-60 hour workweeks while earning less than minimum wage. The administration has also long wanted to aid lower paid and middle class workers who have seen their wages stagnate as income has flowed to the upper ranks of executives.

AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka declared in response, “New overtime protections mark a major victory for working people that will improve the lives of millions of families across America. The new rule more than doubles the salary threshold, ensuring workers who make less than $47,500 are eligible for overtime. We applaud the Obama administration heeding the call for action to ensure working people get paid for all the hours we work. Taking this step to restore overtime is one of the many ways we are beginning to change the rules of our economy that are rigged in favor of Wall Street.”

“The fight for even stronger overtime protections and to raise wages for all working people continues. But today, millions of workers will receive a long overdue raise, healthier and more   productive jobs, and more time to spend with our community and loved ones,” Trumka added.

For more information, go to the DOL website.