For many months now, we’ve been asking our readers to try to stop the Bush Administration’s overtime proposal. However, the dark day of its implementation is very near, and Congress has yet to take effective action preventing it from going into effect. The time is now for one last concerted effort by the American public to express outrage at the way that overtime pay is being snatched away from millions of Americans. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has proposed an amendment that will prevent the regulations from being implemented, but Congress is in a race with the clock to enact the proposal before the Department of Labor issues the regulations, which could be any day and very likely before the end of March 2004.
In our last coverage of this issue, members in the Senate had threatened to hold up a key budget appropriations bill by attaching the overtime provision, but ultimately backed down once the leading Republican ally, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), gave in and ceased further opposition in the appropriations debate. Since that time, there have not been many opportunities to pass any kind of restriction. Unless this changes soon, the new overtime legislation will go into effect. Sen. Harkin’s proposed amendment is designed so that even if it goes into effect after the issuance date of the final regulations by the Labor Department, that the overtime status quo will be maintained, except as to the provisions of the proposed regulations that stand to benefit some low-income workers. However, to prevent the legal messiness that would ensue from rescinding the regulations after they take effect, Congress needs to act now, pursuant to intense pressure from the American public.
Let your member of Congress hear from you today, before it’s too late:
Take Action Now: Keep Pressuring Congress to Oppose Proposed Overtime Changes
Additional Information about Overtime:
Overview of the Harkin Amendment
Analysis of Workers Losing Overtime: White House Proposes to Eliminate Overtime Pay for 8 Million Workers
Workplace Fairness: Fair Overtime Pay
AFL-CIO: Save Overtime Pay Petition (now signed by over 500,000 Americans!)
Animated Cartoon by Mark Fiore