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The U.S. Department of Labor finally issued its long-awaited and controversy-dogged overtime rule Tuesday.
The final rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, and affects an estimated 1.2 million additional workers, requires employers to pay overtime for anyone earning less than $684 per week, or $35,568 per year.
It raises the previous standard from the $455 threshold, or $23,660 per year, and is only a slight change from the proposal issued by the department in March.
Experts said when the proposal was issued in March it was apparently conceived to ensure as smooth an enactment process as possible.
The Obama administration had proposed overtime be paid to workers earning less than $913 a week, or $47,476. But in November 2016, a federal judge struck down the rule, holding overtime should be determined on the basis of duties rather than salary.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans held an appeal in abeyance pending further rulemaking on the issue.
Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said in a statement, "For the first time in over 15 years, America's workers will have an update to overtime regulations that will put overtime pay into the pockets of more than a million working Americans.
“This rule brings a commonsense approach that offers consistency and certainty for employers as well as clarity and prosperity for American workers."
A narrow U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year that says car dealership service advisers are exempt from being paid overtime is influencing lower courts to rule other occupations exempt from overtime as well.