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Posted: 6/26/2003 11:56:30 AM EDT
[url]http://www.msnbc.com/news/931238.asp[/url] Looks like a lot of blue collers workers will become "white" collers pretty soon whether they like it or not.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 12:24:01 PM EDT
Yo, linkie no workie for me but, if this is about the comp time I think alot of people and companies are going to be doing some rethinking on what's important to them.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 12:26:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AtLarge: Yo, linkie no workie for me
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Workin' for me. CR
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 12:40:58 PM EDT
Since the link wasn't working: Up to 8 million U.S. workers could lose their right to overtime pay if Bush administration rules are put in place, according to a new study released Thursday. The new proposed rules would dramatically change who qualifies as a salaried worker, and which hourly wage earners are able to collect overtime. THE REPORT, by the Economic Policy Institute, highlights dozens of professions that would be impacted by the new rules and argues that hundreds of thousands of workers could be moved from hourly wages to a fixed salary. It would also expand the types of work responsibilities that can be barred from overtime, and would cap a right to overtime for almost anyone earning more than $65,000 a year. The study’s numbers sharply contrast Labor Department estimates that 1.3 million low-wage workers would qualify for overtime under the new rules, while 640,000 professional workers would lose their potential for overtime. Some 2.5 million salary earners and 5.5 million hourly employees would lose their overtime, according to the estimates by the group, which is affiliated with labor unions. Some of the most impacted job types would include: mid-level supervisors such as restaurant managers or safety inspectors; professionals such as dietitians, social workers and writers; and technical specialists, such as dental hygienists, drafters or computer programmers. The report’s authors argue the new rules would lead to longer hours for most employees with minimal cost to companies. “That will have a big impact on their personal family budgets and also on their hours of work,” said EPI vice president and policy director Ross Eisenbray. “It’ll be more profit, but it won’t end up in worker paychecks.” The proposed regulatory changes, which amount to an overhaul of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, were first released last March by the Labor Department. A public comment period ends Monday, though no public hearings were scheduled. They could be implemented as soon as this fall and the administration wants them in place by next year. If so, it would be the first major overhaul of the overtime rules in nearly 30 years. Among those changes would be to raise the baseline salary under which all employees qualify for overtime. Right now, standards still employ a figure from 1975: Anyone earning less than $155 per week automatically qualifies. The new rules would raise that to $425 per week, or about $22,000 a year. According to the study, the changes’ real impact would be in how workers are defined: Some employees are currently exempt because they hold advanced degrees or did postgraduate study. But most white-collar workers with any education beyond high school would be placed in a category of “learned professional” and would likely be exempt — unable to earn overtime. Many “learned” professions would now allow on-the-job experience to replace academic training: chefs or practical nurses might be exempted from overtime because academic study is largely vocational in nature. The Labor Department argues that would simply give credit for “equivalent knowledge and skills” gained outside academic programs. Workers would no longer be required to exercise decision-making and judgment in order to be considered a professional, or to mostly do “production” work in order to gain overtime rights. Instead, an employee considered to be in a “position of responsibility” could be made exempt. Overtime exemptions for “executive” employees would be expanded to many lower-level supervisors who manage just a handful of employees, such as fire sergeants or retail sales supervisors. Even if employees who mostly perform routine, non-exempt tasks can still be made exempt. In one example the study cites, someone who stocks shelves could be considered an exempt employee if they also spend some time handling customer complaints. IMPACT ON PAYROLLS The Bush administration and business groups argue the changes are necessary to reflect a growing service sector in the economy, and to spur economic growth and hiring practices. Among the arguments is that by paying less overtime to more highly skilled workers, employers would have more money in their payroll to hire new employees and reduce the unemployment rolls. Many businesses also support the Labor Department’s argument that the new rules will simplify how workers are segmented based on the type of work they do. Some business owners, for example, would like to see an end to the “production dichotomy” — the split between workers who “produce” and those who supervise. Those divisions, they argue, are representative of the labor act’s 1939 origins in an industrial economy and don’t reflect modern times. “That makes sense if you think of an assembly line. It doesn’t make much sense if you think of a service economy,” said Michael Eastman, director of labor law policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce . “How do you take regulations written in the 1940s and try to apply it to your webmaster?” Organized labor, meantime, has been on a vocal campaign against the new rules, arguing they would not only hurt workers but would actually discourage hiring. The AFL-CIO, for example, believes the new rules — by increasing the number of salaried workers — would allow employers to shift more work onto salaried employees, extending their work hours without any cost to the company. “Just because people may sit down all day instead of stand up doesn’t mean they should be expected to work 80 hours a week without overtime pay,” said AFL-CIO spokeswoman Kathy Roeder. ROLES BLURRING In fact, the original purpose of the FLSA rules were to guarantee certain worker rights, both in establishing a minimum wage and in preserving a 40-hour work week — discouraging companies from overworking employees by imposing, in essence, a financial penalty. But if anything, Americans’ work week has kept lengthening, with U.S. workers now far outpacing their counterparts in the developed world. And by one view, the new economy dictates that companies place more responsibility on their workers. One sign of that is what Charles Tharp, professor of human resource management at Rutgers University, calls a “a very jobless recovery”: firms increasing their productivity without growing payrolls at all. A single worker now has far more flexibility and personal responsibility — both of which can translate into longer hours, more work and some confusions about what a worker’s role should be. “With more team-based organizational structures, with people managing themselves ... some of the old definitions around exempt and non-exempt have become rather blurry,” said Tharp. “It’s been a bit of a mess.” Many companies agree the current rules have made for a bit of a morass, and while they see the new definitions as helping to clear up some vague definitions, though they would like to push the Labor Department for even more clarity, which is an issue for them in stemming labor lawsuits. Both sides, actually, are hoping for clarity through the rules, and both are glad to give workers credit for their skill sets. But the report’s authors worry that the credit being given for workers’ experience and increased autonomy will translate into a smaller paycheck. “They’re trying to say that really there’s not a difference anymore between a professional engineer and the person that engineer supervises,” Eisenbrey said. “It’s true they do have a lot of skill and that’s a good thing. But it’s not a reason to deny them pay when they work overtime.”
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 12:53:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 12:56:55 PM EDT
Damn Democrats
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 1:16:45 PM EDT
Democrats? According to the article, this is being pushed by the Bush administration. I've been in IT forever, so I'm used to being salaried and overworked. It will suck for a lot of others though if this goes through. What company wont make everyone they can salaried, so they can work them longer and cheaper. How many companies really care about turnover. Shit, right now there are plenty of people looking for jobs of any sort.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 1:34:51 PM EDT
In a particular union job I had you received overtime for work hours exceeding 8 in a day or 40 in a week. You DID NOT RECEIVE BENEFITS FOR THOSE HOURS. You did not receive more vacation pay because you worked 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year than if you had worked 5 days. You did not receive more sick pay or medical insurance. The other side of the coin was that benefits were NOT PAID AT ALL TO THOSE WHO WORKED LESS THAN 16 HOURS A WEEK. Employers of course tried to work out the deal that benefited them most but it required some agility and foresight. I doubt this will affect the average person as much as the incredible US auto workers package that allows the Japanese auto manufacturer to easily produce a product for $1000's less but sell for a competitive price due to tariffs. Wouldn't you like to buy that Toyota PU for less? I think bottom line they are trying to come up with something that will allow the US business to be agile and responsive to the constantly changing business climate in the world. Sort of like Globalism comes to the US.
Link Posted: 6/27/2003 1:25:59 AM EDT
THis isnt an issue for the Govt to involve it's self in. Each employee, or his representative, should negotiate these issues with his employer.
Link Posted: 6/27/2003 3:21:50 AM EDT
No OT? "The BUS stops here." [;D]
Link Posted: 6/27/2003 3:34:55 AM EDT
The Economic Policy Institute is a union funded "think tank". The bill would allow employees to select additional time off (with pay) in lieu of overtime pay. Of course, the unions, many of which charge membership a percentage of income, are opposed to this since it will impact union revenue. What's wrong with the employee having a choice? The company must still reflect the time off on their balance sheet as it is still considered "an expense". In most cases, time off that is accrued at one hourly rate can be used later, even after someone has received a pay raise (thus being worth even more than when the additional time off was earned). This is about unions wanting to protect revenue streams, nothing else.
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