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Your Pay Is About To Go Up (gawker.com) 271

The Department of Labor's overtime rule is expected to be updated some time later this summer, and when it does, you will soon be entitled to overtime pay if you make less than $50,000 per year. According to Gawker, "It now appears that even if you are a salaried employee or some sort of 'manager,' you will still be entitled to time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours per week, as long as your total salary falls under the threshold." How did they come to this conclusion? Gawker points out that the Department of Labor promotes a Wall Street Journal story which says that "The threshold would be increased to $970, or $50,440 annually. That level is about the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for salaried workers." Hamilton Nolan writes, "This rule has been a matter of political contention for years. But now that it is actually approaching, its import is becoming clear: overtime pay, which has long been isolated to a minority of workers, is about to be extended to almost the entire middle class."
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Your Pay Is About To Go Up

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  • Whose pay? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2016 @05:44PM (#51986035)

    Isn't everyone here a tech worker? Does anyone here actually make under 50k?

    • Re: Whose pay? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I work as a postdoc and get paid well under $50k. It sucks, especially with student loans.

    • Re:Whose pay? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @05:52PM (#51986079)

      Probably depends what you do, specifically, in addition to who you work for. I literally got laid off of a job that paid about $48k a year, and right afterwards got hired at a new job that pays closer to $78k a year. I'll be doing basically the same work at the new job. Before that even, I had a desktop support job that paid $40k a year.

      • Re:Whose pay? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NiteMair ( 309303 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @05:57PM (#51986111)

        right afterwards got hired at a new job that pays closer to $78k a year. I'll be doing basically the same work at the new job.

        Each time I've been laid off (twice in my career), I've landed a better job getting paid more money...

        So being laid off isn't always a terrible thing - sometimes it's really just the spark that ignites the job hunt for a better paying job. I know the first time it happened my salary pretty much tripled with the next job - which suggests that the company I had been with for 5 years had been taking advantage of my accumulated skills and entry-level pay.

        In my case, I ended up doing software development for different industries each time, which also gave me an opportunity to learn something new.

        • Oh I think being laid off is the most profitable thing that ever happened to me. Even though I was only there a year, I got a 4 week severance plus 2 weeks worth of dispersed holiday pay. So basically a paid 6 week vacation, plus a new assignment that included a 60% salary increase.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2016 @08:51PM (#51986919)

          You've one been laid off twice?

          Hell, I get laid off every 2 to 3 years and every time I end up with a new job paying 30% to 40% more. Now when the boss tells me there has to be layoffs, I smile and ask if I am getting two weeks plus a severance package, or are they just going to hand me a box.

          The last boss to do it laid off the whole team (With a two week notice). When we were leaving, he asked why everyone was smiling.

          I looked right at him and said,

          1) Your idea of outsourcing all the L3/L4 people to India is doomed to failure,
          2) Every one of us is stepping out of this place and into a new job making 30% to 50% more, We all start at our new jobs tomorrow,
          and 3) We never have to deal with your stupid ideas again.

          So everyone is happy!

          It was funny when 6 months later they had to bring the jobs back, had trouble finding people to fill the positions, and started calling the old team to try to get them back. Guess that is what happens when you outsource a GOVERNMENT "NO OUTSOURCE" CONTRACT!

          • by rastos1 ( 601318 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2016 @01:12AM (#51987645) Homepage
            Bah! I get laid every 2 or 3 years too!
          • by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgakNO@SPAMspeakeasy.net> on Tuesday April 26, 2016 @08:36AM (#51988789) Homepage

            I was working one particular Fed contract, which, after several appeals by the current prime, was finally awarded to the competitor.

            Who promptly announced that everyone could keep their jobs. . . at 20% less. Contract handover was two months later.

            My shop had a total of 34 contractors. Inside of a week, we were down to 9 of us, and I left the next week (12% raise). I'm told the last guy left 2 weeks later, one month out from handover.

            And the new prime had exactly ZERO acceptance from current contract staff. New prime was reportedly going crazy, because NOBODY would accept a pay cut.

            They called a meeting of all the previous contractors. Nobody showed. They called another, with the bait of a free $50. Amazon card for attending. . . .they then offered a 5% cut instead. We started walking (not that I was going to accept anyway). . . .they offered par. We kept walking.

            Eventually, they offered +10% and signing bonuses, but pretty much everybody was settled in elsewhere. They ended up having to bring the old prime on as a sub, to get it manned. . .

      • Location is a big factor too. Which is makes the law rather unfair.
        If you work in a metro area you could be making well over 50k a year and stugguling. While in a more rural area 50k you can live a upper middle class style.
        So those NYC lower "managers" getting 60k a year are getting really screwed. While the Deep South professional who is getting 48k a year could be getting a huge bonus.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not only do I make under $50K, this won't even affect me.
      I make an hourly wage. I was already eligible for overtime--although my employer hasn't approved any overtime hours in years.
      This site has a large audience, and we come here based on interests rather than employment.

    • I make slightly over $50,000 per year in Silicon Valley. If I wasn't working in government IT, I could make about 40% in pay but without the job security of a multi-year, fully funded contract. OT rules doesn't apply to me anyway. All my employment contracts for the last 12+ years have prohibited me from working more than 40 hours a week. Neither the public nor private sectors want to pay overtime.
      • by afidel ( 530433 )

        How do you survive in silly valley on $50k? Does your employer have a dorm with free room and board or do you commute 2-3 hours each way? I had an offer in 2002 to move to SJ but when I looked at COL factors I told them they'd need to pay me nearly double ($85k, I was making $55k in the midwest), they declined which probably worked out for me since I would have quickly needed raises to keep up with out of control rent increases. I'm now making $130k with a 10% retirement funding (7.5% guaranteed) and my mor

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        I make slightly over $50,000 per year in Silicon Valley. If I wasn't working in government IT, I could make about 40% in pay but without the job security of a multi-year, fully funded contract.

        I understand that job security is worth something, but certainly not working for 30% less than you could in the open market. If you could make $5833 per month but are willing to live on $4167 per month, you would still be breaking even if you could only find work for 8.5 months per year being paid your true value.

        Most people put far too much value on a stable job, and this is one prime example.

    • Re:Whose pay? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:55PM (#51986671)

      Isn't everyone here a tech worker? Does anyone here actually make under 50k?

      And not everyone here lives in the US, you insensitive clod.

      • by muffen ( 321442 )

        And not everyone here lives in the US, you insensitive clod.

        Stupid of him to make that assumption on a story about salaries in the US!

        • There is nothing in this story that says it's about the US.

          You can guess it's about the US because as people point out endlessly "slashdot is an American site", or because the US has a "department of Labor" (but maybe some other country does too?) or because the monetary amounts are in dollars (but other countries have a currency called the dollar) or because Gawker and the Wall Street Journal are referenced (but I guess at least the WSJ does some foreign news stories).

          • by ranton ( 36917 )

            There is nothing in this story that says it's about the US.

            Other than the link to the United States Department of Labor website?

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Back in the end of 1998 during dotcom days, yes for me as a web designer (salary). :(

    • by waspleg ( 316038 )

      Yes and yes. Significantly less.

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      I have support staff who are salaried and make under $50k. This is awesome news.
    • Isn't everyone here a tech worker? Does anyone here actually make under 50k?

      I employ people who make under 50k...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2016 @05:47PM (#51986047)

    Around where I live, $50K, including said overtime, is damn near poverty.

    • Around where I live, $50K, including said overtime, is damn near poverty.

      So...middle class.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @05:53PM (#51986089)

    If the pay for overtime is going to go up, that means it's less likely that a business will want you to work overtime.

    But they may not be able to quite get everything done they need to, so they will hire a part time worker...

    But then that's too many extra hours, so that means your full time to overtime job gets cut back to a half-time position also. Now they have two people working 60 hours instead of one person working 50, with no overtime.

    • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @06:07PM (#51986175) Homepage

      If the pay for overtime is going to go up, that means it's less likely that a business will want you to work overtime.

      That's kindof the point. The point of overtime law is to discourage companies from forcing people to work more than 40 hours per week. So I actually disagree with the headline. Likely people's pay is not going to go up significantly but rather many companies will hire more people to fill the gap. As a side benefit this should help unemployment. I work at a tech company and we pay everyone hourly. I think salaried is stupid and we should just do away with it. If they track your hours then you should automatically be hourly. If you don't set your own schedule then you should be hourly. If you can't leave at noon because things are slow then you should be hourly. If you don't have a set amount of tasks that once finished you can leave then you should be hourly. Most people shouldn't really be salaried. Nurses or anyone who has to be at their station a minimum number of hours shouldn't be salaried. Salaried should be reserved for the accountant that comes in, balances the books, and leaves or other such jobs where you can actually run out of work and go home early if you get done early.

      • Shush, some of us get paid a minimum 40 hr week and get paid OT if we get called during on call rotations or have to work after hours. In fact, almost everyone in IT who isn't a programmer or without direct reports should be getting the same. A few major tech companies got nailed on this front for billions.

        Of course you still get burned sometimes, they'll indicate no OT except case A, B, and C and then dump work on you which requires excess hours in category D.
      • I think salaried is stupid and we should just do away with it.

        We transitioned a few employees from Exempt (salaried) to Non-Exempt (hourly) positions last year. It doesn't really matter one way or the other to us; it is just book keeping and HR policy. But, suddenly it is attractive to not have non-exempt employees working more than 30-35 hours a week, to add in flexibility and reduce risk. Nothing has happened yet in that regard, but it is inevitable to recover the balance.

        Conversely, for salaried emplo

      • of course, because of Obamacare, everyone and their dog is running 29 hour part time workers, to avoid paying through the nose for insurance for every 'full time' employee. This means there was no overtime being worked ANYWAYS.
        • of course, because of Obamacare, everyone and their dog is running 29 hour part time workers, to avoid paying through the nose for insurance for every 'full time' employee. This means there was no overtime being worked ANYWAYS.

          There are several solutions to this but keeping employees salaried isn't one of them. One solution would be to stop requiring employers to provide health insurance at all and give people tax breaks to buy the type of coverage THEY want versus the type of coverage that is the cheapest for the employer. It makes no sense to have health insurance tied to your job. The only reason it is is because a long time ago it was a way to get around wage caps. Another way would be to get employers to pay insurance pr

          • also need to ban pre EX, have a minimum set of what must be in each plan and some kind of exchange system.

            Even with stop requiring employers to provide health insurance at all. There still needs to be some kind of workers comp / some high risk jobs the employer must kick in something.

            • Even with stop requiring employers to provide health insurance at all. There still needs to be some kind of workers comp / some high risk jobs the employer must kick in something.

              Worker's Comp is completely separate from health insurance. It's an insurance policy paid for by the employer that only covers accidents. Health insurance companies know this which is why even though my employer pays for both my health insurance and worker's comp, when I go to the doctor's I sometimes get a letter from my health insurance company asking me how I got the injury. They would really like to pass the charge over to the worker's comp side if they can.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        When ypu are salaried, they will give you that much tasks that you can only do it in 80 hours. So no, a combination of salaried and hours is what is needed for the people working.

        As a European, this is how it works. Having gliding hours to work is possible within that. I know people who work 4 days instead of 5 days and still do the needed hours. I know people who have very lenient working hours and can start anywhere between 7 and 8. Also working longer and shorter weeks.

        Much depends on company to company.

      • Where I work we get paid straight overtime, but it is our choice to work OT. Though most projects aren't willing to pay for that. Fortunately this law is not going to impact us. If we were paid 1.5x for OT, we would probably never be given the choice to work OT.
      • That's why you're actually hourly up to 40 hours, after which you become salaried.
    • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @08:02PM (#51986707) Homepage Journal
      I know young store managers that are on salary around $25K. The hours they work for that money means they make little more than minimum wage. Some of them are trying to go to school. For them the benifit is going to be working few hours for the money. They may be cut back to $10 an hour, which means they will have $15 overtime, which means they may have to work 45 hours a week to make the same money instead of 50 like they do now.

      Or they may just suck it up and pay managers $50K, since keeping up with hours for managerial staff is kind of cumbersome.

      Where this is going to be a stickler is actually some government jobs. For instance some places do not pay teachers $50K yet they are exempt employees. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

      • Yeah, they may just double the pay of their store managers because tracking their hours is 'cumbersome'... I can't imagine a company that would rather double labor costs for store managers than track their hours just as they do for the clerks in the store...

  • Divide et impera (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trachman ( 3499895 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @05:56PM (#51986103) Journal

    Take arbitrarily selected number, 40%.

    Those above it: shove it

    Those below it: take it

    Reality is that most of unpaid overtime is done by faceless, nameless IT workers, project managers, accountants, office workers with the salary band of $50K to $100K.

    • In other news, we are anticipating a rash of hires for jobs that would otherwise be worth $47-50K, getting a starting salary of $50,500 and then getting worked like the fifty cent slots on Senior Bus Day.
    • Your only mistake is assuming that the number is "arbitrary." More likely it's extremely calculated for the most political impact.
  • >, you will soon be entitled to overtime pay if you make less than $50,000 per year.

    I have never made less that $50,000 per year in the 17 years I have lived in the USA. My pay is not about to go up on the basis of this change.

  • Not sure what they are smoking, that is the lower middle to lower class.
    • bay area prices, its deeply into poverty. you could not live on that, on a single income, in the bay area.

      of course, like most things, numbers are meaningless without geography and multipliers or comp factors.

      admirable that some figure was picked, but it should be scaled by the locale you live in.

      • bay area prices, its deeply into poverty. you could not live on that, on a single income, in the bay area.

        I live in Silicon Valley, make $50,000 (or less) per year and rent a studio apartment. It helps to live a modest lifestyle, have fewer tech toys and save for the future.

      • by crgrace ( 220738 )

        A lot of my wife's employees make about that or less. They live in San Francisco. It isn't enough to buy a house on but it is enough to live.

    • Exactly. I used to think I grew up middle class, and was middle class until they passed Obamacare, and one of its proponents was explaining what it was meant to do. I paraphrase, but the salient details remain:
      "This bill is designed to help that middle class single mother with two kids, making 100k a year, to help her get health insurance for her family."

      I then looked at my 28k a year job, and realized I was very very far from middle class.
      • You didn't know that? Illegal immigrants working at fast food restaurants earn $28K/year. I see you've posted four times today - maybe you have more productive ways to make use of your time?

        • That was a few years ago, and my shift ended at 2pm, and posting can be done in the window between jobs. Assume much?
    • I hate to burst your bubble but the median household income in 2014 was $53,657. That's regardless of single or dual income. I would be willing to bet that most people on here are lucky enough to have never made below median income, and that most of our friends are above this threshold as well, so we never see it. source: http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/1... [cnn.com]
      • You would be mistaken in my case. But the median income defines the midpoint of the middle class not it's limits. As I said, this would be impact lower middle class and lower class.

        Of course, these stats get pretty flawed on a few points because they ignore wealth and there is a top end to the tax brackets making a working class engineer look no different than a billionaire.

        When they say the "typical" American family they ignore the homeless, the unemployed, the wealthy, and top and bottom income earners.
  • Kinda hard to see how decisions made by the US Department of Labor impact pay rates in other countries.
  • The exempt/non exempt classifications have been kind of bendy over the years. Back when I managed people we had a lot of jobs in which the exempt people made less per hour than the non-exempt, which seemed wrong to me. It's sort of implicit that if you're exempt you're making more money than the hourly guys.

    From a policy perspective I like it, but this is a big sort of change I would have thought you needed Congress to okay. I'm a little bit concerned the bureaucracy seems to be just kind of ruling by

    • It can depend on how much work there is.

      When it came to hours, "Exempt" employees usually were paid a bit more than the standard hourly rate because there was an assumption that there would occasionally be overtime but nobody really wanted to run around and track it.

      On the other hand, I've known businesses where the "exempt" employees earn a bit less than the hourly employees because the hourly employees are contract/temp workers who will be gone when the work is finished.

    • Yeah, when I was in college worked for a company. Since I didn't have a degree the owner paid me hourly. My manager had a degree and was paid salary. Crunch time comes in and I worked a ridiculous amount of hours for about 3 weeks. When my check came in - my manager told me I was making significantly more than him (think 40 hours normal and another 40+ at time and a half) I was making almost 3 times my normal paycheck.
      The good news was when you work all of those hours, you have no time to do anything
      • by tsotha ( 720379 )

        Well, sure. But the place I was referring to had exempt people making less than the non-exempt people on a forty hour basis, i.e. even before overtime. That's why I like the new rule - too many companies have been misclassifying people. If you're flipping burgers you're an hourly employee even if your boss makes you a vice president.

  • Forcing companies to pay for overtime just means you're going to get fewer hours or a lower base salary so overtime doesn't affect the company's bottom line.

    I'd rather work for a handful of companies and between them completely blow away overtime limits because none of them have to pay me overtime and all I care is that I make my hourly rate which means none of them are complaining and neither am I. Not everyone is interested in only working 40 hours a week.

    The people this benefits are the managers who tak

  • Because when all the businesses in rural nowhere: population 'me' catch whiff of that I'm either going to be relegated to burger flipper salary equivalent wage to compensate, layoffs will force more small businesses into the hands of contract IT vendors (of which there are maybe two that matter around here), or forced to move again.

    I suppose I'm in the minority considering $15/hr flipping burgers in California by comparison would be middle class here, but a sweeping adjustment like that will certainly do
    • The purpose of this is to prevent employers from working their salaried employees 60-80 hours/week. It basically will encourage if not force employers to hire more people or pay a penalty. More jobs == Less competition for work == Hire wages for all. It's supply and demand. Right now there's an oversupply of labor. This will help that.
  • overtime pay, which has long been isolated to a minority of workers, is about to be extended to almost the entire middle class."

    When the old threshold was approved it applied equally extensively, but it eroded over the years. They are now just bringing it back to what used to be.

  • the idea of unpaid OT needs to change I can see some stuff being ok.

    But this idea of useing to get more coverage
    have people no call with pay for doing so with the idea of even if you do need to work late that we still want you in on time the next day.

    Places where you need some to be there all the time you are open and it's cheaper to work someone 60 hours then hiring more people.

    Endless crunch time to get some thing done and when it's done it's on to the next thing with no added time off.

    The push to have pe

  • In case you hadn't heard, Gawker just had their ass handed to them by Hulk Hogan for shitty 'journalism.'

    Thus, never, EVER, source them, cite them, or use them on this site, ever again.

    They do not count as a worthwhile or trustworthy source of information. Thus, they do not belong here, EVER.

  • How about I do my job for a predictable expense to the accounting department for an agreed upon amount of money and if there's less work I leave early and if there's more i leave later like a normal IT manager.
    Btw I actually quit to run a computer repair store like half a year ago but still.
  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2016 @02:30AM (#51987825) Homepage

    I don't who the "you" this headline/summary is referring to, but it's not me.

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