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Obama to Expand Overtime Pay to Nearly 5 Million Workers

The rule change would raise the threshold for people who earn overtime pay from $23,660 to $50,440 by 2016.
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President Barack Obama will announce a sweeping change to the nation’s overtime pay law, dramatically expanding the number of people who will qualify for increased pay after working more than 40 hours in a week.

The proposed rule, first reported by Politico, will raise the threshold for guaranteed overtime pay from a salary of $23,660 to $50,440. The long-awaited rule change aims to improve wages for nearly 5 million people as early as 2016.

Obama said in a Huffington Post piece that the change would be good for workers and for businesses that are already paying workers fairly and being undercut by companies that don’t.

“That's how America should do business. In this country, a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay,” Obama wrote. “That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.”

Obama will formally announce the rule change on a trip to Wisconsin, a battleground state home to fierce labor battles and likely GOP presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker.

Administration officials are expected to begin releasing details about the plan on Tuesday.

The National Retail Federation has opposed proposed overtime changes, saying they would “add to employers’ costs, undermine customer service, hinder productivity, generate more litigation opportunities for trial lawyers and ultimately harm job creation.”