Having been in an office job for nearly fifty years, most of that as a manager or above, I can tell you the new overtime rules from the Obama Administration are going to have many unintended consequences.
Under the new regulation to be issued by the Labor Department on Wednesday, most salaried workers earning up to $47,476 a year must receive time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours during a week. The previous cutoff for overtime pay, set in 2004, was $23,660. From NYTs article.
One of the biggest consequences will be tracking of hours worked and limitation of those hours. And there will be greater tension between employee and employer.
Sure, no doubt there were abuses under current rules, but whether they outweigh the consequences of the change is questionable.
Let’s say you are a true manager, professional or other worker exempt from overtime under the job duty exemption, but not now under the new salary limits.
As a professional you do what is necessary to get the job done. I often worked 50-60 hours a week, sometimes went to the office on Saturday. I did so because of the work load at times, but also to build my career. I didn’t ask for OT (or even standard pay) and my employer did not require it, but did expect the job to be well done.
True professionals don’t watch the clock, now many will be required to.
Employers must protect themselves from the law for these formerly exempt professionals. They will require strict tracking of hours worked and likely prohibit working such as I described, but you can bet they will still expect the job to be done.
All this leaves the worker in the middle with no additional pay and greater stress on the job; a professional no longer.
No good deed goes unpunished, especially a government deed.
Should you have an interest, you can find the final DOL rule here.