UPDATE: AB 1565 passed the California Assembly on May 30th. Onward to the California State Senate! Click here to see Art Pulaski’s statement.
Many Americans working long hours with modest pay currently don’t receive overtime pay do to an outdated formula that cheats workers. In 2016, President Obama attempted to remedy that inequity with an updated formula that raised the overtime threshold so that more workers received the pay they deserved.
Unfortunately, a judge in Texas blocked the Obama rule and the Trump Administration has refused to defend it, effectively leaving millions of workers hanging out to dry. In all, 12.5 million workers who were set to receive overtime pay had that pay snatched away from them, deepening the income inequality crisis.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, raising the overtime salary threshold will directly benefit a broad range of working people, including:
- 4 million women, or 50.9 percent of all directly benefiting workers
- 2 million parents and 7.3 million children (under age 18)
- 5 million blacks (who make up 8.9 percent of the salaried workforce but 12.0 percent of directly benefiting workers), and 2.0 million Hispanics (who make up 11.8 percent of the salaried workforce but 16.0 percent of directly benefiting workers)
- 6 million workers age 25 to 34 (who make up 22.9 percent of the salaried workforce but 28.7 percent of directly benefiting workers)
- 5 million millennials, defined as workers age 16 to 34 (who make up 28.2 percent of the salaried workforce but 36.3 percent of directly benefiting workers)
- 2 million workers with a high school degree but not more education (who make up 15.5 percent of the salaried workforce but 25.3 percent of directly benefiting workers)
With the Obama rule in limbo, California has stepped up to ensure that workers receive the overtime pay they deserve. AB 1565 (Thurmond) simply reinstates federal law prior to Trump’s unwillingness to back working people.
AB 1565 is a critical plank in California’s pushback against Trump’s anti-worker policies. By restoring the overtime rule, California paves the way for a stronger middle class with more money flowing into the pockets of workers; money that will be spent in local businesses to help California’s economy thrive.
The bill is scheduled to be voted on in the Assembly next week. It’s a moment of truth for California Democrats. There are only two choices: Stand with working people or side with Donald Trump. It should be an easy choice for any Democrat who cares about the future of California’s middle class. The legislature must vote yes on AB 1565.