Overtime Exempt
November 23, 2016 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Federal Judge halts Obama's overtime rule. Due to go into effect December 1st, the rule would increase the minimum salary an employee would have to make to be considered overtime exempt.The future of the law under a Trump presidency is unclear.
posted by kittensofthenight (81 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
My wife got a email today from her employer basically saying "well, we were going to give you overtime pay but nevermind doing the right thing, lolz!"
posted by selfnoise at 4:29 PM on November 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


This is exactly why you shouldn't wait until the end of your term to issue the executive order that undoes the crap your predecessor puts in place.

Seriously. President Bush issued an executive order that redefined who qualified for overtime in 2004. Why didn't President Obama fix this his very first day in office, or in any of the many years since then that he's been in office?

It's shit like this that lost the election for Democrats.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:32 PM on November 23, 2016 [46 favorites]


Just got the email from my employer. God forbid I make a living wage after I hit 40 hours.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 4:33 PM on November 23, 2016 [9 favorites]




Yeah, my work sent an email yesterday outlining all the hard work HR, IS and Accounting had done to make this work for the 250 effected employees, about 1/3 of our non-profit. Then a terse email this afternoon saying basically welp, scrap that, back to working through lunch and staying till 6:30 and not having a system to document comp time, we'll keep in touch. Pretty callous for a homeless services agency.
posted by kittensofthenight at 4:36 PM on November 23, 2016 [32 favorites]


I love how selective the Darwinist leanings of free market dogma are. On the one hand, maximal freedom to compete will inevitably produce optimal outcomes for all players in the long run. On the other hand, it's crucial that "ability to pay employees in proportion to the time they spend working" not be a dimension in which businesses have to compete.
posted by invitapriore at 4:40 PM on November 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


Welp. I haven't heard from my employer yet, but I have decided the best thing to do is resign myself to the fact that they will rescind the raises they said were coming December 1. I wish I could convince my fellow employees to all quit if they do it, but I know that's not going to happen. We're screwed. Again. Still. Always. GrrrrrArrrgghhhh
posted by pjsky at 4:44 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I work a kinda sorta local government job (county office for a state university Extension program) and before this, our elected council members gleefully got all the free overtime out of us they could - and in the run up to this taking effect it looked like they were going to pull hard to the other side and make us hourly, even though the regulations do NOT require that, and indeed salaried govt workers could get comp time at time-and-a-half in lieu of overtime pay which is a pretty good compromise deal. Instead of doing the smart thing with comp time, they were basically taking this opportunity to put us in a position to cut hours in the future, and eliminate the flexibility with hours that came with being salaried to make us strict 9-to-5'ers. Just like with the ACA, it's looking like a case of a good thing that some employers will use as cover for their own shitty, totally voluntary decisions. Not sure what their plan is now, this coming Monday is when we were supposed to have individual meetings on it (which I was preparing myself to walk out of if necessary as this is just the latest in a long line of shitty management).
posted by jason_steakums at 4:47 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


When the company informed us 2 weeks ago that we'd be getting raises Dec. 1, my first thought was "THIS IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!" Sadly, I was right.
posted by pjsky at 4:49 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Obama didnt do it because... Hes probusiness like the rest of them.
posted by yonation at 5:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]



posted by tilde at 5:07 PM on November 23, 2016


🔩
posted by clavdivs at 5:15 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I really want every Democratic candidate for office to be raising hell about this from now until 2018, targeting people who would have gotten a raise or overtime pay and reminding them over and over who stole that opportunity away. Igor Volsky's tweets pointing out the net worth of assorted celebrating Republican congresspeople would be a great starting-point for that messaging.

not that I actually trust the party to do this, but it's what I'd like to see
posted by karayel at 5:23 PM on November 23, 2016 [37 favorites]


*stares*

Okay, y'know how I said I work in HR?

We have been preparing for this for WEEKS. We started preparing in AUGUST. Eight of us pulled EVERY SINGLE JOB DESCRIPTION for EVERY SINGLE PERSON that potentially would be qualified for this, to come up with a plan of attack - identified who definitely would be eligible, talked to bosses to find out if they were thinking of laying anyone off before now, figuring out how to help the people who were now going to be hourly adjust to that financially (because it's a different payroll schedule), and just YESTERDAY we were starting the webinars about "So! Now you need to use our timesheet software, here's how to use it...."

....and now this.

This now makes TWO REASONS I want to develop teleporting ability expressly so that I can will myself into Trump's presence and punch him in the dick.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:45 PM on November 23, 2016 [52 favorites]


I guess it would have been inevitable to have it reversed administratively, but the judge blocking it gives them such an easy out. This wasn't a rule that would have affected me, but it seemed so obviously a move towards fairness to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:55 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Work 40 hours and go home. But we all have to do it.
posted by thelonius at 5:58 PM on November 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


Gah!
posted by LilithSilver at 6:01 PM on November 23, 2016


Make America Shitty Forever #MASF
posted by oceanjesse at 6:13 PM on November 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Activist judge?
posted by drezdn at 6:13 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


@ the world famous: the judge's reasoning applies with equal force to Bush's 2004 rule (which also didn't take into account duties with its hard salary cap; the judge noted in a footnote that that rule wasn't before him).

Any idea if people made the same points in 04-05 re: agency power to make that rule?
posted by jpe at 6:14 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos, I am SO feeling you. Sure, someone could argue that the new overtime rule was bad for business, but do you know what's really bad for business? HAVING HR REGULATIONS BLINK ON AND OFF LIKE A GODDAMN CHRISTMAS LIGHT. It's cool, federal government. It's not like I had anything else to do with my time other than sit around waiting for you to make up your minds about the simplest things
grumble grumble
grumble grumble grumble
posted by ourobouros at 6:15 PM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


This now makes TWO REASONS I want to develop teleporting ability expressly so that I can will myself into Trump's presence and punch him in the dick.

Given that this was an Obama-appointed judge striking an Obama rule after a Democratic Congress didn't pass legislation to make this the law when they could've, I don't see why Trump would be the natural target of your ire.
posted by jpe at 6:16 PM on November 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


I'm with thelonius: everyone should work to rule. If your contract is for 40 hours, work 40 hours.

If you have the agency, of course. if you could just be fired, then the next step is what James Scott called "weapons of the weak" - malingering, sabotage. etc. If they won't pay, we work less.
posted by jb at 6:20 PM on November 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


I'm with thelonius: everyone should work to rule. If your contract is for 40 hours, work 40 hours.

The problem is that not all labor believes that it's labor, and so there's always going to be a segment of the working population that sees devaluing their own time as a way to advance their careers. It's like the prisoner's dilemma except not all the prisoners agree on the relative value of the four squares.
posted by invitapriore at 6:29 PM on November 23, 2016 [36 favorites]


As for why Obama didn't do this sooner: well, he tried.

March 2014 -- Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the DOL to create a new overtime rule.
March 2014-July 2015 -- The DOL holds "listening sessions" about the new rule.
July 2015-Sept 2015 -- The DOL publishes a preliminary proposal and invites public comments (of which it receives over 270,000).
May 2016 -- The DOL publishes the final rule.
November 2016 -- A judge halts the new rule exactly one week before it goes into effect.

Why did it take over two years to get the rule made? I'm not sure. Maybe it was a vain attempt to win over all the stakeholders -- aka ACA all over again?

Why did it get halted a mere week before it went into effect, long after most employers had already prepared to put it in place? I don't know. Maybe because this is the last season of America and the writers will do anything to amp up the drama?
posted by ourobouros at 6:32 PM on November 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


As for why Obama didn't do this sooner: well, he tried.

March 2014 -- Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the DOL to create a new overtime rule.


Sure, but he's been president since 2008. Why didn't he do it then?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:35 PM on November 23, 2016


Given that this was an Obama-appointed judge striking an Obama rule after a Democratic Congress didn't pass legislation
What Democratic Congress?
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:37 PM on November 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


> The future of the law under a Trump presidency is unclear.

The future of a pro-labor law in a federal government wholly controlled by teabaggers is as unclear as a future in which I suddenly grow seven arms and develop the ability to fly. We can reasonably assume that both of these are not fucking ever going to happen, but both these hypotheses are unprovable.
posted by at by at 6:47 PM on November 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


It's like the prisoner's dilemma except not all the prisoners agree on the relative value of the four squares.

The thing about formal games is that agreement about the payoffs is irrelevant, only perceptions of the payoffs.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:54 PM on November 23, 2016


If I'm not mistaken, the (vague) language about who is exempt has been in the law since the 30s and has been interpreted through regulation all along, including for many years based on salary; establishing a salary threshold by statute would have been a major change.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:54 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I really want every Democratic candidate for office to be raising hell about this from now until 2018,

Thanks for the laugh, sometimes a sad laugh is better than no laugh at all.
posted by any major dude at 7:07 PM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


invitapriore: On the other hand, it's crucial that "ability to pay employees in proportion to the time they spend working" not be a dimension in which businesses have to compete.

But it is, though most businesses have decided "nope, we don't want to do that." Mind you, some businesses decided to pretend the law went into effect and continue as planned (cross-link to comment from box in the current Post Election Mega Thread), so a few companies can try to retain current employees and gain new ones by promoting "we'll pay you for your time, unlike some other companies."

Maybe the ever-fair free market will sort this out, but I'm not holding my breath. This isn't "don't employ children" level of bad, but it's "don't discriminate" level of obvious human decency stuff that doesn't always get into business practices without laws.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


If this gets overturned by the supreme court (in say three months) would everyone who didn't get overtime pay but should have be entitled to back pay?
posted by Mitheral at 7:51 PM on November 23, 2016


We have been preparing for this for WEEKS. We started preparing in AUGUST. Eight of us pulled EVERY SINGLE JOB DESCRIPTION for EVERY SINGLE PERSON that potentially would be qualified for this, to come up with a plan of attack - identified who definitely would be eligible, talked to bosses to find out if they were thinking of laying anyone off before now, figuring out how to help the people who were now going to be hourly adjust to that financially (because it's a different payroll schedule), and just YESTERDAY we were starting the webinars about "So! Now you need to use our timesheet software, here's how to use it...."

....and now this.


Sounds like a smart, pro-business move to me, disrupting weeks or months of business planning nationwide for no reason just to screw people.
posted by kafziel at 7:52 PM on November 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Not for nothing. But many of the people adversely affected by this ruling are folk that for the last three decades have been looking down their collective noses at unions and union members.
posted by notreally at 7:52 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ah, fuck. But i think, from where i'm at, we can push this through at my company, because the budgeting and HR and all that shit has already been done, and the budget was budgeted. It has forced us to plan better, it's led to large strategic changes. It just might make it. Morale is a thing at a company, and this will determine morale.

News Flash --Your company can decide to follow the labor law and pay you overtime without big pappa government harassing them.

47k is a living wage, minimal for having a family--if your company is preventing you from having children or buying a home, that company is unethical. fight back. union or work to rule.

'non profit' culture be damned. Aint nobody got time for that. make them hire more, or make them foundations pay out.
posted by eustatic at 8:18 PM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


How crazy is it that the USA has such an authoritarian work culture, anyway? STOP working.

Trump was probably just an expression of our already terminal stockholm syndrome at work--America already wanted to hire its fucking abscess of a boss.
posted by eustatic at 8:22 PM on November 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


There is no sky God, no philosopher king. Just compromised politicians too busy looking after their own too look after yours. Organize or die.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:29 PM on November 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


For what it's worth, you can join the IWW in any job so long as you can't directly hire or fire as part of your job. They have good organizational resources, and your local IWW leaders will help you make your shop a union shop, though you may have to call around and find a truly effective team to help you with this. This seems like an appropriate time to mention this.
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:58 PM on November 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


I remember when we started discussing how this might affect our teams (I manage two teams of salaried workers), and fortunately for us it was always a non-issue because either a) you were senior enough to make well over the threshold or b) even if you weren't, literally none of our employees (outside of management) are expected to work more than a 40 hour work week. Ever.

In practice, of course, folks stay and work longer than required, and even if change hadn't been halted I still have to remind people to go home (my main concern being burnout).

The place where I work isn't always a picnic but I've been pleasantly surprised at the work-life balance that has been cultivated over the years. And we're still profitable! Amazing, you can run a healthy business without exploiting labor...

I see a lot of companies take advantage of this stuff, and the law would help immensely, but it's also a cultural issue where even fellow workers will try to "outperform" each other on hours.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:01 PM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I hate to sound unconnected, but can employees at companies affected by these new rules work together - as a union of voices - to rebel against their employers?
posted by glaucon at 9:05 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think few have the leverage to risk that. Everyone's replaceable, and everyone knows it.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:14 PM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


And not only is everyone replaceable, but the rich and the Republicans have been working long and hard to make sure that none of us have enough money to be able to afford being jobless for any length of time. We can't afford to do things that could get us fired.
posted by IAmUnaware at 9:17 PM on November 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


From a practical standpoint, Trump's administration is likely going to be so incompetent they might always forget to undo it. You know, like they forgot they would have to hire staffers.
posted by corb at 9:23 PM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


From a practical standpoint, Trump's administration is likely going to be so incompetent they might always forget to undo it. You know, like they forgot they would have to hire staffers.

This was my hope--it's a lot less glamorous than all the big talk about walls, deportation, and imprisoning Clinton. In the face of all of that, and of the administration's incompetence at every level, I was/am hoping this law would take effect quietly, successfully, without notice.
posted by witchen at 10:31 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hope is great, but hope is not a plan. this joker could still forget about this rule. fighting rules is complicated. although it does involve lawyers, and this joker knows some lawyers.

But look, we are the uncontrollable tiger we've been waiting for.
posted by eustatic at 10:59 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


This one thing isn't Trump's fault (unlike so many, many others), but there's gonna be some nice schadenfreude in watching him and his people realise that part of holding political power is that you get blamed for all the bad stuff, whether or not you did it.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 11:23 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


The future of the law under a Trump presidency is unclear.

It might benefit political reporters to create a macro of this sentence.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:39 PM on November 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


there's gonna be some nice schadenfreude in watching him and his people realise that part of holding political power is that you get blamed for all the bad stuff

You're talking about a guy whose business plan includes not paying vendors and contractors, unless they're mafia-connected. I do not think he or his minions are going to lose any sleep over being blamed for anything, by anyone. They believe they've been given a blank check, and beginning in January, you can expect the looting and pillaging to begin. The raping will continue as usual.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:10 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oops -- it looks like you won't have to wait until January: The Cash-In Begins
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:58 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure, but he's been president since 2008. Why didn't he do it then?

I would imagine Obama felt adopting new regulations like these during his first term with the deeply unstable economy he inherited would be an added bit of uncertainty that businesses didn't need to deal with at that moment. Better to wait until things stabilized before making a change to salary structures.
posted by gusottertrout at 3:39 AM on November 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm selfish and I am ok with this for now. I want this law to go into effect, however, my HR department made the transition into a cluster fuck.

The HR at my employer (a university) decided not to bump me up the grand or so to be exempt, and their "solution" to compensate for this change (which they had a year to figure out) was to cut everyone's paycheck in December while giving us 3 checks in June. Not only this, most people who were paid one lump sum at the beginning of the month are now being paid biweekly and will have to wait until the middle of December for their first paycheck. We all learned all of this a WEEK ago.

So: two gap weeks with no pay and a shorted check in general during the holidays.

I'm fine but I was filled with rage for my coworkers that barely make above poverty level.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:19 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Contract? What's that? 'Right to Work' means employers have the right to make you work.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 5:23 AM on November 24, 2016


We've already adjusted salaries for the 2017 budget and we're in the middle of performance/salary reviews. People who work in mental health don't often see $47K salaries, and a lot of our staff were thinking they'd be able to make some real changes.

What a fucking mess.
posted by catlet at 5:43 AM on November 24, 2016


Make America Great Again By Screwing Workers Like We've Always Done.

Hmmmm, a bit too long to put on a hat made in Mexico.
posted by tommasz at 6:44 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Given that this was an Obama-appointed judge striking an Obama rule after a Democratic Congress didn't pass legislation to make this the law when they could've, I don't see why Trump would be the natural target of your ire.

If you think that judge would have dared making this move with a CLINTON win two weeks ago, you are....either cynical or naive, I can't decide which.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:25 AM on November 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Why would a Clinton win have made a difference?
posted by jpe at 7:28 AM on November 24, 2016


'Right to Work' means employers have the right to make you work.

"Right To Work" is Newspeak for "Right To Fire."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:36 AM on November 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Why would a Clinton win have made a difference?

Less of a chance that such a move would be well received.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:43 AM on November 24, 2016


"Right To Work" is Newspeak for "Right To Fire."

It's also conspicuously missing the "Right to get paid for it."
posted by Zalzidrax at 8:49 AM on November 24, 2016


Less of a chance that such a move would be well received.

I don't see why that matters. It's not like the judge would be impeached or Clinton could overturn the ruling. I'm just not following the political calculus you're imputing to the judge.
posted by jpe at 8:53 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


A Trump win is an indicator of the direction of the general sentiment of the populace at large. A Clinton win would have suggested that the general sentiment of the populate at large was moving in a different direction.

Unless you think that a change in the overtime laws is actually something that the business interests were supporting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


What does that have to do with his decision, though? Even if Clinton won, the GOP kept at least one and likely both houses, so the ruling wouldn't have been impacted by the political branches.

Or are you saying that he made his decision based on how it would be characterized in his obituary or something? (ie, he's thinking about how his decision would be characterized by future historians)

Unless you think that a change in the overtime laws is actually something that the business interests were supporting.

I'm actually just thinking that he was assessing whether the rule fit within the contours of Chevron deference. Which was the legal question before him.
posted by jpe at 9:23 AM on November 24, 2016


Could be interesting to see how the litigation evolves if allowed to continue. It appears as if the court feels that a salary level test that existed in some form or another since 1938 is an invalid interpretation of the statute. If appears to have been swayed by the magnitude of the change in the salary level, although by some calculations it is less than it would have been had the historical levels been adjusted for inflation. Well, the court will have an opportunity to change its mind. Also curious why this case was brought within the Ninth Circuit.
posted by cheburashka at 9:47 AM on November 24, 2016


What does that have to do with his decision, though? Even if Clinton won, the GOP kept at least one and likely both houses, so the ruling wouldn't have been impacted by the political branches.

(turns to rest of room) It's not just me who thinks that the judge would have ruled otherwise with a Clinton win, is it? Maybe it is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


EC, I totally agree. I was going to say this is exactly the reason I voted for Clinton. Of course this wouldn't have happened if she was president-elect. I just didn't want to make the thread about that immediately out the gate.
posted by kittensofthenight at 10:03 AM on November 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's really hard to tell what role timing played in this hold. My first thought when I saw this news was, what would have happened had this been announced during the election?

This was one of the few Obama era changes I was unapologetically supportive of. Management is generally very abusive of the middle class work ethic.
posted by Strange_Robinson at 10:07 AM on November 24, 2016


Apologies, not Ninth Circuit, for some reason thought this was in Nevada.
posted by cheburashka at 10:17 AM on November 24, 2016


The timing didn't stop, say, the DACA ruling or the EPA ruling, so why would the election have made any impact on this ruling?
posted by jpe at 10:18 AM on November 24, 2016


2016: the year that just keeps on giving.
posted by mule98J at 10:40 AM on November 24, 2016


EC, I totally agree. I was going to say this is exactly the reason I voted for Clinton. Of course this wouldn't have happened if she was president-elect. I just didn't want to make the thread about that immediately out the gate.

The same ruling probably have happened, but she probably would have fought it at least half-heartedly and more likely very strongly. Instead this is just a freebie for Trump.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:18 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here's a good NYT piece on how these federal judges in Texas are appointed. They are appointed from suggestions from the senators from the state. So while this judge was an Obama appointee, his appointment was heavily influenced by Senators Cruz and Cornyn.

If, the courts act fast and overturn this ruling, it will be hard for the Trump administration to undo the new overtime threshold. Because this is a rule, the Trump DoL would have to issue a new proposed rule with a lengthy comment period before they could implement it. This process tends to take over a year. If people have already had their increased pay/overtime eligibility for a year, it is politically impossible to take this away. The more likely outcome is that the Trump DoL (and/or Congress) won't overturn the new threshold but will take away indexing (with inflation), so the $47,892 line will be in place for a long time.

As for the chances of the ruling being overturned: Most legal analysts seem to think it's a strange ruling. It basically says that there should be no salary test for overtime eligibility (instead, their should only be a test of "duties). "Judge Mazzant’s ruling turns 65 plus years of how the law has been interpreted on its head."
posted by cushie at 11:59 AM on November 24, 2016


Can someone more familiar with the federal court system please explain briefly how the ruling of a judge from the Texas circuit (5th, I presume?) applies nationwide?
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:01 PM on November 24, 2016


a) no Democratic President wants to do anything too radical his first term.
b) Sure it's easy to tell people to work 40 hours then go home but when the job needs done or contracts don't get honored and no one gets paid, what are you to do?
c)
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:15 PM on November 24, 2016


I don't see why that matters. It's not like the judge would be impeached or Clinton could overturn the ruling. I'm just not following the political calculus you're imputing to the judge.

If the ruling holds until January 21st the new Labor Sec. can opt to not fight the decision and just drop implementation. That wouldn't be so likely in a Clinton cabinet.
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:27 AM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I want to speak to this without sounding like I'm whining, but here are a couple of facts maybe not generally considered.

The intent with this order was noble; get everybody on salary up to a respectable level of compensation for all those overtime hours.

The salary level they chose made it hard but not impossible for most companies with mid-level managers to raise all the boats. Lower-level managers would probably see an appreciable increase in pay for overtime hours.

However, moving from salary to hourly endangered a couple of salary perks, most notably stipends for the company healthcare program. Previously salaried employees would move from paying 1x to paying 2x as hourly employees. Any gains made from seriously curtailed overtime hours would be eaten by premiums signed up for during open enrollment, typically October/November with the understanding that the premiums would be 1x. This coverage by law cannot be changed until October/November 2017 open enrollment, without an extraordinary life change event, like having a child.

So, what should be a good thing is now not such a good thing for some people.

In our company of 1400 people, some judicious hiring since we first got a whiff of this order back in July has meant that it would only affect three people who were salaried under the old hiring program, and they were set to be kept at 1x in the new system; the pain threshold was low for management.

Companies with higher numbers of salary to hourly people may not be able to offer this perk. Higher turnover positions are going to take twice as much hiring consideration before opening that golden door.

As it is, the status quo is maintained for now. Nobody is going backward; they are just going to have to wait a bit to see improvement. Now that the companies and HR departments have already been put through the wringer, they are already in a position of compliance.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 9:57 AM on November 25, 2016


when the job needs done or contracts don't get honored and no one gets paid, what are you to do?

While I agree that "work to rule" is hard for vulnerable employees to follow, it's important to note that it's not the job of employees to kill themselves because their managers are too incompetent to hire sufficient staff and apply them appropriately. No-one getting paid has nothing to do with the job not getting done, and everything to do with employers externalising costs to employees by exploiting their power.

But you're right that doing it on your own is impossible. The only things that ever stop capital exploiting labour are the power of the state and the power of organised labour itself. And, in reality, neither of these is sufficient on its own. Even in a country with relatively strong labour laws, I'd no sooner stop paying my union dues than I would my home insurance. That so many in the English speaking world continue to believe that working yourself to death for the good of the aristocracy is noble and brave, rather than abject shitlicking humiliation, is an embarrassment to us all.
posted by howfar at 3:50 PM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Justify the Obama administration's six year delay before even attempting this all you like. "It's [still] shit like this that lost the election for Democrats."

Almost anyone working overtime spend all the money they earn, so money in their pockets stimulates the economy. If you tighten overtime rules, then you force employers to either give these high velocity spenders more money, or to create more of them. It's great for the economy either way.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:49 AM on November 26, 2016


Just learned that my employer will "honor its original commitments" and move forward with its previously announced plans. It has over 14,000 employees, many of whom will likely fall under the expanded overtime rule, so that's a nontrivial good thing.
posted by jedicus at 2:47 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


If the ruling holds until January 21st the new Labor Sec. can opt to not fight the decision and just drop implementation.

That's not quite right. The new Secretary of Labor has to be confirmed by the Senate, which can take a little while (Obama's first Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, wasn't confirmed until February 24th). Possibly enough time for the injunction to be struck down.
posted by jedicus at 2:53 PM on November 30, 2016


Well the Labor Department is appealing the injunction.
posted by zinon at 6:34 AM on December 2, 2016


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