U.S. President Joe Biden holds hands with his then-nominee for U.S. secretary of labor, Julie Su

U.S. President Joe Biden holds hands with his then-nominee for U.S. secretary of labor, Julie Su, on March 1, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Biden Labor Department Finalizes Pro-Worker Rules on Overtime, Retirement Savings

"Democrats are delivering for working people!" declared Rep. Pramila Jayapal as the AFL-CIO noted that GOP ex-President Donald Trump "gutted the rules that required overtime pay for millions of workers."

Roughly 4.3 million U.S. workers will now be eligible for overtime pay under a new rule finalized Tuesday by President Joe Biden's Labor Department—in stark contrast to his Republican predecessor's rules that severely limited the number of workers who were eligible for required compensation when they worked more than 40 hours per week.

Under the new rule, employers will be required to pay overtime premiums to salaried workers who work more than standard full-time hours if they earn less than $1,128 per week, or about $58,600 per year.

Former President Donald Trump, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, may now have to defend his 2020 rule that set the overtime pay threshold at just $35,500 per year, leaving out millions of workers.

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) noted that the updated rule was "a major piece" of the Executive Action Agenda released by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which she chairs.

"This is a HUGE pro-worker initiative by President Biden," said Jayapal. "Democrats are delivering for working people!"

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, who Biden has nominated to fill the role permanently, said it is "unacceptable" that lower-paid workers "are spending more time away from their families for no additional pay," while hourly workers are eligible for overtime pay.

"This rule will restore the promise to workers that if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you should be paid more for that time," said Su. "The Biden-Harris administration is following through on our promise to raise the bar for workers who help lay the foundation for our economic prosperity."

The Labor Department posted a chart on social media showing how under Trump's policy, only workers who earn less than $688 per week are eligible for required overtime pay. The full rule is set to go into effect in January 2025.

The chart offers a "good split screen with the GOP," saidSlate reporter Mark Joseph Stern.

"It isn't just that Trump's Department of Labor fought overtime pay—it's also that Trump appointed anti-labor judges who are about to block Biden's new rule," he said.

The former Republican president's appointed judges could also block a new Federal Trade Commission rule introduced on Tuesday, which blocks companies from including noncompete clauses in workers' contracts.

"Both reforms happened because of Biden and in spite of Republicans," said HuffPost labor reporter Dave Jamieson.

Along with the overtime rule, the Labor Department announced a new policy aimed at safeguarding people's retirement savings from their financial advisers' conflicts of interest.

The finalized retirement security rule requires "trusted investment advice providers to give prudent, loyal, honest advice free from overcharges," said the department. "These fiduciaries must adhere to high standards of care and loyalty when they recommend investments and avoid recommendations that favor the investment advice providers' interests—financial or otherwise—at the retirement savers' expense."

"Under the final rule and amended exemptions, financial institutions overseeing investment advice providers must have policies and procedures to manage conflicts of interest and ensure providers follow these guidelines," the agency said.

Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO, said the nation's largest labor federation has "been pushing for the fiduciary and overtime rules since the Obama administration."

"It's really this simple," said Shuler. "Every worker deserves their fair share of the wealth they help create and every worker deserves to make sure their hard-earned money is secure."

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