WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement celebrating the Biden Administration’s two finalized rules that significantly expand the number of salaried workers eligible for overtime pay and ban companies from using nearly all forms of noncompete clauses that prevent employees from seeking opportunities at other firms: 

“I applaud President Biden for his laser focus on ensuring his Administration does everything possible to put real money in people’s pockets, reward work and help everyday Americans to deal with the many challenges that face them. Today is a major milestone in the fight for economic justice and workers’ rights, with the Biden Administration finalizing two historic initiatives on the same day to increase workers’ wages, bargaining power, and workplace rights.  Both of these initiatives were priorities for the Congressional Progressive Caucus on our executive action agenda and we have worked closely with the Administration to push them forward.

“Under the leadership of Acting Secretary Julie Su, the Department of Labor is expanding the right to overtime pay to over 4 million more salaried workers, who are often forced to work overtime of 60-70 hours a week with no additional pay outside their normal salary. This finalized overtime rule is the largest expansion in federal overtime eligibility in decades and will make profitable businesses pay an additional $1.5 billion annually to their workers. Starting July 1st, millions more employees will get time-and-a-half pay for work beyond 40 hours a week, ending workplace exploitation, increasing workers’ pay and free time, and spurring more job hiring.  While we know this is not everything the Progressive Caucus called for, we believe it is a huge step forward and we will continue to push for the full expansion for the next round.

“In addition, under the bold vision of Chair Lina Khan, the Federal Trade Commission issued a final rule declaring nearly all noncompete clauses unfair methods of competition, providing relief to more than one in five workers—30 million Americans—burdened with these conditions on their employment. The average worker will increase their pay by an additional $524 per year thanks to this rule.

“From the beginning of the new Congress, the Progressive Caucus charted out a vision for delivering for working people in the face of divided government through our Executive Action Agenda. House progressives are proud to partner with the Biden Administration to make good on Democrats’ commitments to providing working families with the dignity they deserve through finalizing these major priorities for executive action in a timely way. We applaud President Biden and his Administration for working to rebuild our economy from the bottom up. We must codify these decisions in law and build on them. We stand ready to defend these historic achievements and fight back against Republican attacks in Congress and rightwing challenges in the courts to deprive working people of the rights they deserve.”