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March 31, 2004
The Wait Continues: Overtime Changes Under Review

The Labor Department was expected to publish final rules governing overtime eligibility today, but the regulations will be delayed while the Office of Management and Budget reviews them, the Boston Globe reports.

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The Labor Department sent the regulations to the OMB for review on Friday. The regulations are expected to raise the salary threshold for overtime from $155 a week to $425 a week. The Labor Department estimates that about 1.3 million low-wage workers will gain overtime eligibility.

In Congress, Democrats have been trying to block the proposed changes, which include revisions to the overtime exemption standards for the executive, administrative, professional, computer, and outside sales categories.

Democrats argue that the number of white-collar workers who would lose overtime eligibility would be far greater than the Bush administration's estimate of 644,000, the newspaper notes. Opponents of the changes for white-collar workers cite an Economic Policy Institute study that found that as many as 8 million people would lose their overtime.

Business groups have lobbied for the changes, saying they are needed to clarify the rules and reduce the number of lawsuits over overtime, the newspaper notes.

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