For example, the Labor Department could raise the pay threshold for workers covered by overtime rules. Currently, salaried workers who make more than $455 per week are exempt from overtime.
It’s the latest move in Obama’s self-described “year of action,” a series of economy-focused executive decisions that don’t require congressional approval.
The White House official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the directive on the record before the president’s announcement, expected Thursday.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Obama to seek broad expansion of overtime pay
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama this week will seek to force U.S. businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers, the latest move by his administration to confront corporations that have enjoyed soaring profits even as wages have stagnated.
On Thursday, the president will direct the Labor Department to revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others currently classified by many businesses as "executive or professional" employees to avoid paying them overtime, according to White House officials briefed on the announcement.
Obama's decision to use his executive authority to change the nation's overtime rules is aimed at bypassing congressional Republicans, who have already blocked most of the president's economic agenda and have declared that they intend to fight his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from its long-standing $7.25.
The president's action is certain to anger the business lobby in Washington, which has long fought for maximum flexibility for companies in paying overtime.
Obama seeks overtime pay overhaul
March. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to direct the Labor Department on Thursday to alter regulations to require overtime pay for millions more workers.
The sweeping expansion would affect fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and other positions that businesses currently classify as "executive or professional" in order to avoid paying them overtime, the New York Times reported.
The move isn't likely to please Republicans in Congress, who have said they plan to fight Obama's proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
"There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” said Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, a public policy think tank. “If they push through something to make a certain class of workers more expensive, something will happen to adjust."
Cecilia Muñoz, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said the move is meant to help U.S. workers thrive.
“We need to fix the system so folks working hard are getting compensated fairly,” she said. “That’s why we are jump-starting this effort.”
Obama's overtime proposal faces approval by the Labor Department and could be scaled back before it's finalized.