Labor Dept to unveil proposed overtime pay rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Overtime pay rules for broad swaths of salaried U.S. workers would be overhauled under a proposal that moved forward on Tuesday, with President Barack Obama pushing to make overtime more widely available.

The Labor Department said it had finished crafting updated rules and would soon seek public feedback on them.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez said in a blog post the rules would implement a 2014 Obama order for a revamp. The rules now block many salaried workers from getting overtime pay.

Obama last year bypassed the U.S. Congress and used executive authority to trigger a review of overtime rules. He asked the Labor Department to look at the salary threshold over which employers do not have to pay overtime to managers and supervisors. That threshold was last raised in 2004 to $455 a week.

A change in that level could make low-level supervisors in retail, fast food, healthcare and other industries eligible for overtime pay.

Perez said the department submitted its proposal to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The rules would have to be opened for public comment before they could be made final.

“The rules governing who is eligible for overtime have eroded over the years,” Perez said. “In the near future, the public will have an opportunity to weigh in and help us craft a final rule.”

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Ted Botha)

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