Posts Tagged ‘overtime’

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Apparently, it’s big news that California Governor Jerry Brown [ht: sm] just signed a bill that, for the first time, means farmworkers in that state will be entitled to the same overtime pay as most other hourly workers

But this is the United States. So, the law only takes effect beginning in 2019. And it will lower the current 10-hour-day threshold for overtime by half an hour each year until it reaches the standard eight-hour day by 2022. (It will also phase in a 40-hour standard workweek for the first time.) And the governor will be able to suspend any part of the process for a year depending on economic conditions.

But, still, it’s a vast improvement over what exists now—in California and across the United States.

In California, employers currently must pay time-and-a half to farmworkers after 10 hours in a day or 60 hours in a week. That only happened beginning in 1976, since before that (dating back to 1941), the California Legislature exempted farmworkers from earning any overtime pay.

And U.S. federal law is even worse. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established minimum wage and overtime standards, excluded all agricultural workers, the majority of whom at the time were African American.

Even now, the amended Fair Labor Standards Act, which states that all workers (including farmworkers, except those employed on “small farms”) need to paid at least the federal minimum wage, still exempts farmworkers from the overtime pay requirements that apply to all other hourly workers.

Ah, what a country!

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download Overtime

Absolutely!

Posted: 22 April 2016 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

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Everybody knows that Americans are increasingly overworked [ht: sm].

Half a century ago, overtime pay was the norm, with more than 60 percent of salaried employees qualifying. These are largely the sorts of office- and service-sector workers who never enjoyed the protection of union membership. But over the last 40 years the threshold has been allowed to steadily erode, so that only about 8 percent qualify today. If you feel as if you’re working longer hours for less money than your parents did, it’s probably because you are.

Today, if you’re salaried and earn more than $23,600 dollars a year, you don’t automatically qualify for overtime: That means every extra hour you work, you work free. . .

A 2014 Gallup poll found that salaried Americans now report working an average of 47 hours a week — not the supposedly standard 40 — while 18 percent report working more than 60 hours. And yet overtime pay has become such a rarity that many Americans don’t even realize that a majority of salaried workers were once eligible.

In a cruel twist, the longer and harder we work for the same wage, the fewer jobs there are for others, the higher unemployment goes and the more we weaken our own bargaining power. That helps explain why over the last 30 years, corporate profits have doubled from about 6 percent of gross domestic product to about 12 percent, while wages have fallen by almost exactly the same amount. The erosion of overtime and other labor protections is one of the main factors leading to worsening inequality.

This is also called absolute surplus-value.

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Answer (according to Kathleen Madigan):

College football’s “Norma Rae” moment joins other recent pay-related episodes. First was the proposal to raise the federal minimum wage. Next came the White House’s directive to expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. Employees who currently work extra hours for free will soon get paid for their time.

Add in interns and citizen journalists that perform duties for free and a trend is evident: The U.S. economy may be the richest in the world, but sections of it depend on cheap or free labor.