President Obama calls for reforms to overtime pay

President Obama calls for reforms to overtime pay
PHOTO: Reuters

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said Monday he will push for reforms to the nation's overtime regulations to cover more "middle class" Americans, after his administration has made numerous political gains.

Touting recent victories at the US Supreme Court on health care and gay marriage and in Congress on a trade approval law, Obama said he will now set his sights on making sure more Americans are guaranteed overtime pay.

Writing in an article on The Huffington Post, Obama said he will go to Wisconsin this week to pitch his plan to get "nearly 5 million workers" overtime protections next year.

"Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve," Obama wrote. "That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years." Obama said he proposes "covering all salaried workers making up to about US$50,400 (S$67,960)," adding that current loopholes leave out people making much less.

The White House elaborated on the plan Tuesday morning, saying Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to update regulations on overtime.

That proposal will be open to comment in writing before a final rule is issued by the department next year, The White House said in a statement about the plan alongside a Department of Labor animated website about the overtime "problem." "In this country, a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay. That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America," Obama wrote.

The Supreme Court also recently voted to uphold a key tool to fight housing discrimination, another victory for Obama's administration.

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