State Unsure How Many More Workers Could Earn Overtime Under New Rules

Apr 25, 2016

Credit Tom Blackwell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tjblackwell/5659432136

New federal rules making more white-collar workers eligible for overtime pay could be finalized in the next few weeks -- but the state doesn't know exactly how many workers stand to benefit.

Right now, most workers can't earn overtime if they make more than about $24,000 a year. That threshold is slated to more than double this summer, meaning if an employee makes less than $50,400, they'll be paid for working beyond 40 hours a week.

It sounds like good news for workers -- but state Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Brinegar isn't so sure.

"That in turn will perhaps change how they structure their number of employees, structure their compensation, and most likely lead to reduced staff and reduced hours," he says.

The U.S. Department of Labor has said the change will cover 100,000 workers in Indiana, but a spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor says they don't know that for certain.

Republicans in Congress are seeking to block the change without more data about its effects. No Indiana legislators have signed onto that effort. Brinegar thinks a reversal isn't likely before the November election.