New overtime rule causes controversy - WNEM TV 5

New overtime rule causes controversy

Posted: Updated:
Stock photo Stock photo
MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

New rules set to take effect in December would double the threshold for millions of workers to earn overtime pay.

That means those employees making higher wages would become eligible to make even more.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette said the new rules will hurt job creation and eventually lead to longer unemployment lines.

Employers will soon be required to pay overtime to salaried workers earning less than $47,500 a year. In Michigan that's about 100,000 workers.

"If they're working over then they should get paid what they deserve," said Brooke Lawrence, Midland resident.

For others, they're concerned this will be added stress on small businesses.

"I think we need to give small businesses more opportunities and I think we're just kind of tying their hands with that," said Erin Schumacher, Midland resident.

Michigan, along with 20 other states, filed a lawsuit in a federal court to stop the overtime rules. The lawsuit claims the U.S. Labor Department abused its authority by increasing the salary threshold so drastically and also failed to account for the cost of living in parts of the nation.

Patrick Wright, with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said he sees problems with the new rules.

"A lot of companies, they're not miraculously going to come up with more money. They're going to find ways to make ends meet and that's probably going to harm the very people that this regulation is supposed to help," Wright said.

The president of the Michigan AFL-CIO diagrees. Ron Bieber issued a statement the following statement:

The lawsuit is a slap in the face to the working people in Michigan. The new rule will help protect wages from being eroded by rising costs and ensure that working people get paid for the work they do.

"People in general are working more and are underpaid and the business owners too. They've got a really high overhead too. So we're living in tough days," Schumacher said.

Currently only 7 percent of workers are eligible for overtime. The new rule will push it to 35 percent.

Copyright 2016 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
WNEM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.