March 15 - U.S. President Barack Obama highlights efforts to strengthen overtime pay in weekly address. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama in his weekly address outlines his plans to update overtime pay. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "Now, for more than 75 years, the 40-hour workweek and the overtime protections that come with it have helped countless workers climb the ladder of success. But today, an overtime exception originally meant for highly paid employees now applies to workers who earn as little as $23,660 a year. It doesn't matter if you do mostly physical labor, or if you work 50, 60, even 70 hours a week. Your employer may not have to pay you a single extra dime. " On Thursday, Obama directed the Labor Department to look at overtime regulations. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "That's not right. So we're going to update those overtime rules to restore that basic principle that if you have to work more, you should be able to earn more. And we'll do it by consulting workers and businesses, and simplifying the system so it's easier for everyone." Business groups quickly criticized the announcement as a move that could lead to job or wage losses if employers cut hours or eliminate positions.