WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement applauding the Department of Labor’s announcement that it will propose a new rule to raise the threshold for full-time salaried workers to be federal guaranteed overtime pay to $55,000 per year:
“I am pleased to see the Biden Administration act to raise the overtime threshold and advance this key pillar of worker justice that has been a top priority for the CPC’s Executive Action Agenda. I’m grateful for the leadership of Acting Secretary Julie Su and the Department of Labor in this effort.
“For nearly eight years, the federal overtime threshold has been so low it guaranteed overtime pay for only 15 percent of full-time salaried workers, forcing millions to essentially work any hours above 40 per week for free at a time when they cannot afford to do so. When this new rule is finalized, it will cover 3.6 million more workers and ensure they are finally paid for all their hours on the job. That is real progress, but it doesn’t go far enough. Too many families are still being squeezed by the cost of living, from housing to child care to health care. This incremental move will leave too many behind when a larger increase to the threshold could give millions more families breathing room in their budgets at a time when they desperately need it.
“The Congressional Progressive Caucus has a long history of advocating for bold action: under President Obama in 2014, 2015, and 2016; and as a proposal for the Biden administration in both our 2022 and 2023 Executive Action Agendas. Our Caucus understands this is about basic fairness: people should be paid for every hour they work. It is also about economic justice: workers should not be forced to donate their time over 40 hours per week to their employers, especially for those who work at wealthy corporations that are raking in record profits.
“The CPC called for the overtime threshold to be raised to $80,000 per year, which would cover 55 percent of workers at one-and-a-half times their regular pay—and grant fair pay to 26 million new workers. But the increase from above $35,568 to $55,000 leaves millions more workers to fight for fair pay on their own. We urge President Biden not to consider the job done with this proposed rule, and pursue a relentless commitment to fair overtime pay, which would be a powerful demonstration of his pro-worker commitment. We cannot rest until we’ve exhausted every option to ease the burden on working- and middle-class people.”