The Department of Labor’s Final Rule on Overtime Pay
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. – Thomas Jefferson
Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. – George Washington
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. – C.S. Lewis
Liberals/Progressives are celebrating the result of Obama’s Executive Memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to “propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations.” The DOL took Obama’s direction and came up with a final rule (law) that raises the minimum annual salary threshold for exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476; this means every business that has exempt employees who make less than $47,476 must pay them overtime for any time worked over 40 hours a week.
The problem with the rule is that the federal government does not have the authority to dictate wages to businesses. It doesn’t matter that the DOL’s final rule is an amendment to existing law (Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201) because any law that governs wages is unconstitutional, but the U.S. Constitution has never stopped national politicians and fed gov bureaucrats. Liberals/Progressives and fed gov bureaucrats operate as if every American with a job is an employee of the federal government.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule increasing the number of salaried workers entitled to overtime pay will protect millions of Americans from overwork and make sure they get paid their fair share when they work more than 40 hours in a week. It will raise wages and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, as employees shift hours from overworked and underpaid managers to hourly employees who badly need more work and more income.
How does raising the salary threshold protect Americans from “overwork,” raise wages, and create thousands of jobs?
The Obama administration’s machinations will have detrimental effects on the people it purports to be protecting from corporations. Corporations, large and small, will adjust to the DOL’s final rule by changing the status of their exempt employees making less than the $47,476 to hourly employees and closely monitor their work hours to ensure that they never get overtime. Another option for corporations is to terminate some of their exempt employees, transition some of them to hourly and give these remaining exempt employees overtime. No matter what the decision is it will harm people, which the DOL realizes.
The DOL’s statement regarding its final rule on overtime pay provides evidence that it is aware that some people will see their work hours reduced to 40 hours or less, or 0, as in unemployed. “The department has issued a final rule that will put more money in the pockets of middle class workers – or give them more free time.” Unemployment will certainly give people free time. Reduced work hours will give people more free time, but people normally prefer more work hours and the wages that come with them.
The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to regulate wages and work hours for private sector employees. The lawless edict of liberals/progressives and the administrative state will result in lost wages and unemployment for the overworked and abused people they are protecting from evil employers.