Businesses, workers look ahead to impact of overtime rule

- A move by the Obama administration is set to raise the salary threshold for those eligible for overtime pay from $23,600 to $47,476.

"They have the right to time and a half their regular rate of pay for any hours over 40 per week," said local labor attorney David Linesch.

That should affect 4.2 million workers, including 331,000 in Florida.

In the fast food and retail industries, many employees are deemed managers and work long hours, but are paid a flat salary barely exceeding the income of hourly workers they supervise - who receive overtime pay.

Under the new law of the land, the annual salary threshold at which companies can deny overtime pay will be doubled, from $23,660 to nearly $47,500.

"It was really an outdated amount. They hadn't really raised the threshold for years," Linesch said. "The present threshold of $23,000 was below the poverty level."

The overtime threshold was last updated in 2004 and now covers just 7-percent of full-time salaried workers, down from 62-percent in 1975.

The National Retail Federation, however, calls the move a "career killer," saying many will lose their salaried titles, instead switching to hourly pay, and losing flexibility and benefits they're used to.

The National Council of Chain Restaurants also said the new rules is outrageous.

The new rule goes into effect on December 1. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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