I agree. It is interesting that he's picked overtime as one of his themes and then is rather lax, to say the least, when it comes to the people who work for him. Maybe this news will help him out the door?
bigdog wrote:You're right, it doesn't sound so bad when it is explained as a contract wage. However, paying a contract wage is also a very good way for employers to get extra hours of work out of an employee without paying overtime, isn't it?
Apparently, the workers have been working more than 42 or 43 hours and not getting the benefit of the hourly salary that Sanders claims is $17 per hour. We have no way of knowing if they've been working 5 hours extra or 10 hours, but they've been working enough that they've realized they're not getting the $15 per hour Sanders always brags about.
They've rejected his offer to cut their hours and I don't blame them. He should pay them a fair hourly salary plus overtime for anything over 40 hours or stop spouting off about Americans receiving fair wages. The overtime laws aren't there for nothing. Putting someone on contract who is only making 36K per year is ridiculous. They could do a blue collar job, work some overtime, and make a whole lot more. As it is, every hour they work over 40, they are losing money.
I must say, there are so many 'edges' of labor law that can be nibbled away at by business interests, it is hard to keep track of. I did not know about the overtime rules not being indexed to inflation. I did know about companies declaring employees to be part of "management" in order to avoid overtime but there is more than one way to skin a cat. I came across this article that is pretty easy to read that gives some background on the whole overtime issue.
The overtime rule has been repeatedly weakened in the past 80 years
The concept of overtime pay, just like the minimum wage, didn’t exist in federal law until President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed for the New Deal labor protections in the wake of the Great Depression.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established a federal minimum wage and overtime benefits for the first time, was meant to end sweatshop-style conditions in US factories and lift millions of Americans out of poverty. The overtime benefit, in particular, was supposed to discourage employers from overworking their employees, by making it cheaper to hire an extra worker than have one employee work 80 hours in a week.
But the problem with the law, which is the case with most federal labor laws, is that benefits aren’t indexed to the changes in cost of living.
Business groups have been quite effective in keeping it this way, making sure Congress and the executive branch make the fewest adjustments possible.
That’s one reason the federal government has raised the overtime salary threshold only a handful of times. For example, in the 1970s, federal overtime benefits covered about 65 percent of salaried workers, according to the National Employment Law Project. Today, fewer than 7 percent can earn overtime.
That’s why labor groups pushed the Obama administration for such a sharp increase. By doubling the salary threshold, the new rule would have ensured that the bottom 40 percent of salaried workers will qualify for overtime — a boon to many in the food service industry and elsewhere at the lower ends of the labor market.