President Obama last night unveiled his long-awaited proposed overtime exemption rule, enabling those who earn up to $970 a week, or $50,440 a year, to be eligible for time-and-a-half when working more than 40 hours in a week. The current minimum salary exemption (free from overtime) is $455 a week, or $23,660 a year.

“Right now,” the president’s announcement in The Huffington Post notes, “too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve.” The change would restore the threshold in purchasing power to where it stood in 1975, the presidential op-ed piece claims.

The rule is part of the administration’s power under the overtime provisions of 1938’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but will no doubt be challenged in court anyway.

The rule must still undergo the normal rulemaking process, including being published in the Federal Register and being opened for public commentary, and most likely will not take effect before 2016.

[This morning the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the overtime proposal, but you have to scroll to page 8 to find the figures Obama refers to.]

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