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President Obama's call for overtime expansion expected to have r - KOAM TV 7

President Obama's call for overtime expansion expected to have regional impact

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI - President Obama is proposing to expand overtime eligibility to an estimated 5 million people nationwide.

Currently, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, salary-paid executives and managers can be exempt from overtime pay.

However, under the proposed change, those employees would now be guaranteed overtime pay for all extra hours added to their 40-hour work week.

"I started off hourly, but now I'm salary once I got promoted to assistant manager," said Patrick Krockett, assistant manager at Vintage Stock in Joplin. "I make more money salary. There are times during the holidays that I have to work extra hours that I wouldn't get paid overtime."

While he doesn't receive overtime pay, he does receive several benefits.

"Vintage Stock does treat me very well as far as salary because they give me bonuses and discounted insurance," Krockett said.

Salary employees elsewhere, may not receive any benefits to working extra hours.

The proposed rule would make all salary employees earning less than $50,440 a year now eligible for overtime.

"Some employees will benefit from the new regulations, but there are others that may be harmed," said Jason Jones, executive director of the Southwest Missouri Workforce Investment Board. "They would be shifted to new categories, or perhaps their hours or pay may be cut to make up for the new category, or those jobs could be eliminated all together."

According to a map outlined by the Obama administration, 3.8 percent of the workforce in Missouri would be affected, along with 2.9 percent in Kansas, and 4.4 percent in Oklahoma.

The impact to employers remains unknown.

"They'll first have to figure out if their employees now fit into this new classification, and if they want to make adjustments to that either via job duties, or reduction in force," Jones said.

"I can definitely see if they have to start paying overtime to the salary people, they'd start cutting back even more," Krockett said.

Staff members at the Southwest Missouri Workforce Investment Board estimate that if 100 jobs in the Joplin metro area were cut due to the new regulations, it would result in losing $5 million in earnings to the region.
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