Senate stops new rule for overtime wages

Senate stops new rule for overtime wages

LEGISLATION

The Senate blocked proposed changes to overtime rules at the Labor Department that firefighter unions said could shortchange some workers on overtime.

The vote amended an appropriations bill, S 1356. The House version, HR 2660, still contains the provision. President Bush said he would veto any bill without it.

Police making more than $22,100 a year could be denied overtime pay under the proposed changes if they are rcclassified as professional, administrative or executive employees exempt from federal overtime rules.

In the past, only executive employees were exempted from overtime protection. But police union leaders say it would increase the number of officers exempt from receiving overtime pay.

Under the proposed rules, overtime might be denied to some workers “in a position of authority,” which critics contend could mean front-line supervisors.

Bush administration officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce deny the charge and say the new rules are simply meant to reflect expanded white-collar aspects of the evolving workplace.

House-Senate conferees will have to square the difference over overtime in the two bills.

Inf.: S 1356, HR 2660, http://thomas.loc.gov.

Copyright Washington Crime News Service Oct 17, 2003

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