Millions of additional salaried workers could get overtime pay under Biden proposal

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Biden’s proposal could raise the threshold below which salaried employees are eligible for overtime compensation — but business groups may oppose it.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images


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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Business groups could oppose a proposal by Biden to raise the threshold below which salaried employees are eligible for overtime compensation.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The proposed rule would increase the threshold for automatic overtime eligibility to $55,000 per year from the current level, which is about $35,000. Many salaried managers who work long hours in low-wage sectors such as fast food and retail are not eligible for overtime pay. “For more than 80 years, the right to a forty-hour workweek has been a cornerstone in the rights of workers in this country. It guarantees that you can go home at the end of 40 hours, or that you will be paid higher wages for every extra hour you spend away from your family,” said Julie Su, Acting Secretary. The administration estimates that the measure will make approximately 3.6 million salaried employees eligible for time and a half pay.


In waning days, the Obama administration ordered an increase in the threshold, increasing it from $23,660 up to $47,476. The move was stopped by a federal court. The National Retail Federation is studying the proposed rule but believes that the $55,000 threshold increase is too high. The Department of Labor has no authority to bind future administrations with automatic increases. The Labor Department will be seeking comments on the proposed rule within 60 days.