Jeb Bush says we need to work longer hours. Scott Walker says the minimum wage is “lame” and signed a budget that eliminates the weekend. Marco Rubio says we need to run the country according to what business says it needs. Donald Trump says … well, “you’re fired!”
AFSCME’s new video puts these bad-boss ideas promoted by candidates for President into the context of bad bosses we know and hate in modern culture. Why are these rich politicians picking on American workers anyway?
The reality is that Americans work more hours than any other workers on earth. According to the International Labor Organization, Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.
In fact, the Gallop Poll last year found that the average workweek for salaried and wage-earners is now 47 hours, well beyond the 40-hour workweek proscribed in the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires that employers pay overtime for work beyond 40 hours.
Employers have managed to get around the overtime provisions by paying set weekly salaries, instead of hourly wages, since only salaried workers earning less than $23,660 a year qualify for overtime under the current FLSA rule. That standard is so low that only 8 percent of salaried workers qualify for overtime, compared with 65 percent of salaried workers who qualified in 1975.
President Obama proposed a rule change that would raise the limit on overtime pay to $50,440, which would cover 11 million more salaried workers now being forced to work beyond 40 hours without overtime pay. It’s a long overdue change that will put more money into the hands of working families and, thus, improve the U.S. economy.
Naturally, we can expect a fight from all the bad bosses out there doubling as Presidential candidates. But you can weigh in on the side of workplace justice. Let the Department of Labor know that you support the rule change by clicking this link to send a message.
Send a message to the bad bosses: We work hard for the money. Pay up!