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Why 10 Million Workers May Benefit from Obama’s Overtime Push

CBS MoneyWatch

Anyone wearing an "assistant manager" name tag knows that the job carries a nice title but doesn't necessarily come with commensurate pay. 

One of the biggest issues for assistant managers and other white-collar workers is unpaid overtime. That's because those employees are often expected to work 60 or 70 hours a week, pushing their pay down to minimum-wage level once all their hours are included.

With President Barack Obama's plan to require businesses to pay more in overtime wages to executive or managerial employees, as many as 10 million workers could stand to benefit, according to Ross Eisenbrey of the liberal Economic Policy Institute. That would happen if the White House, which hasn't yet set out the details of the plan, requires overtime pay for white-collar workers earning less than $50,000.

"President Obama is right: Americans are working longer hours and American workers are more productive than ever, but it's not showing up in their pay," Demos senior policy analyst Amy Traub wrote to CBS MoneyWatch in an email. "The current rules are a sweet deal for businesses that are profiting from the extra work and also pocketing more of their employees' paychecks." [...]

Boosting overtime pay would help the economy by benefiting millions of middle-class families, Demos' Traub notes.

The current overtime rules are "hurting American workers and it harms our economy as a whole because working middle-class families don't have enough money to spend, and the lack of consumer demand is depressing job growth," she notes.