WASHINGTON – Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) issued the following statement today after the president signed a memorandum expanding the number of people who qualify for overtime pay under federal law:


“We applaud the president for taking steps to make sure hard-working Americans are paid fairly. The order will directly benefit middle-class families, ensuring that hard-working employees get paid overtime when they work overtime. Eighty-eight percent of salaried workers don’t currently qualify for overtime protections because they make over $455 per week, which still leaves a family of four in poverty. In our discussions with workers across the country last summer, we heard shocking complaints about wage theft from low-wage workers who are already struggling to get by. 


“The action taken today comes on the heels of an executive order to increase the minimum wage for federal contract workers. Actions like these show that the president remains committed to doing everything he can to help working families. Americans deserve to have their hard work rewarded. 


“We hope the president will continue to act swiftly to make sure every American workplace is equitable and free of discrimination. We encourage President Obama to find other ways to increase equity in the workplace, such as an executive order protecting working Americans who still face discrimination on the job because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


“We’re all better off when working Americans are paid and treated fairly.”


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