Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were able to block an attempt
by Democrats to force a vote on a measure that would alter the Bush administrations'
overhaul of the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Representative George Miller of California aimed to force a vote on a proposed
a measure that would require workers who are currently eligible for overtime
to be eligible for overtime when new rules go into effect August 23, the Associated
Press reports. The House blocked Miller's procedural move on a vote of 222-205.
The measure to alter the Bush administration's plan is similar to one already
approved by the Senate.
The Senate has also approved 99-0 another amendment that would provide greater
overtime protection for 55 categories of occupations. Senate Republicans proposed
this legislation to ward off the Democrats' effort. In the end, however, the
Senate approved both measures.
The Labor Department contends the Democrats' legislation is ambiguous and would
weaken overtime protections.
The department's new rules cover the white-collar exemptions of the FLSA. The
rules raise the salary threshold below which workers are generally guaranteed
overtime from $8,060 per year to $23,660 per year. The Labor Department estimates
1.3 million low-wage workers will gain overtime eligibility as a result.
The Democrats' legislation would allow this change to occur. Democrats support
changes that would increase the number of workers guaranteed overtime. Critics
contend some of the Labor Department's changes would strip overtime from too
Supporters of the new regulations say the rules clarify who is eligible for
overtime and will reduce the number of employee lawsuits over overtime.
BLR's new Wage & Hour Self-Audit Guide will thoroughly cover the
new overtime rules, including any changes resulting from the current legislative
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article, via the Houston Chronicle
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