Published: Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 3:17 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 3:17 PM
By: Jessica Wehrman – Washington Bureau
Last May, then-Vice President Joe Biden swept into Columbus on Air Force Two, sampled a bit of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and announced a rule change that would allow some 4.2 million more Americans to receive overtime pay.
Less than one year later, that rule’s future is very much in doubt.
A federal judge in November issued a 20-page temporary injunction stopping the rule — set to be enacted last Dec. 1 — in its tracks. Then President Trump began his first day in office with an order to federal agencies to freeze all pending regulations, which provided another roadblock. The Republican-led Congress, too, has begun the year by rolling back regulations.
It’s an entirely different attitude than it was that day in Columbus, when Biden announced the administration’s plan to pay overtime to the majority of salaried workers who earn less than $47,476 a year. The increase — raising the previous cap of $23,660 — would impact millions if allowed to take effect.
The rule had some exemptions — people with certain job duties, such as executive or administrative duties, would not have qualified under the new threshold — but the Obama administration estimated that workers would receive more than $12 billion in additional pay over the next decade as a result.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, in Columbus last May, said that other than the birth of his five grandchildren, “this may be the single best day I’ve had in the United States Senate.”
He’s not talking that way now. “They are taking money away from workers making $30,000 and $40,000 a year,” he said. “If you’re working 50 or 60 hours, you