Overtime salary changes could impact many Valley workers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This week, President Obama announced new overtime rules that could give 5 million Americans a pay raise.

The Department of Labor says its new overtime proposal will make sure hard-working Americans are paid fairly for a day’s work.

Any salaried worker who earns less than $50,400 per year would earn overtime pay. Right now, only those earning less than $23,660 per year can earn overtime.

“You are not making a whole lot more than minimum wage to meet the current salary threshold, so there is no question it needs to be updated,” said Attorney Rick Bush with Green Haines Sgambati.

Bush is an attorney in Youngstown who specializes in employment law. He says the changes to overtime rules will be good for hundreds of workers in the Valley who earn a salary, some of whom make as little as $455 per week and cannot get overtime pay.

“It will be a painful transition for some employers. But it is actually in the end going to bring everybody in compliance with the law, and it is going to strengthen the middle class,” Bush said.

But many retail stores and restaurants are worried about how the overtime changes could affect their business and their employees.

Natalie Walston, communications director with the Ohio Restaurant Association said they are reviewing the proposal.

“At first sight, it seems if these regulations have the potential to radically change industry standards and negatively impact our workforce here in Ohio,” Walston said.

The new rules are open for comments, and they won’t go into effect until 2016 at the earliest.

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