Conservatives, Big Business Team Up to Hurt Workers


First some in Congress wanted to halt an Obama administration’s effort to expand the amount of workers eligible to receive overtime. Now, Republican-run states are joining the fight against workers that will tamp down on wages.

Officials from 21 states as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed suit yesterday in an effort to halt a rule approved by the U.S. Department of Labor in May that nearly doubled the salary threshold for overtime pay up to $47,476. The change, set to be implemented in December, would make an additional 12.5 million workers eligible for overtime.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez called the effort to halt the new overtime rule politics at its worst. “We are confident in the legality of all aspects of our final overtime rule,” he said. “It is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rule-making process. Despite the sound legal and policy footing on which the rule is constructed, the same interests that have stood in the way of middle-class Americans getting paid when they work extra are continuing their obstructionist tactics.”

It is more than unjust to stop everyday Americans from getting their fair share for working more than 40 hours a week when top corporate executives have been raking in huge salaries and bonuses at the expense of their workers for decades.

The overtime rule is just a small effort to make the playing field more level. However, big business and their political cronies in many states are taking another shot at hard-working Americans by trying to curb their progress.

This is just the latest attempt to rein in measures that would help everyday Americans. But rest assured, it won’t be the last if workers don’t turn out on Election Day to stop corporate cronies from handing over policy decisions to big business.