Sen. Whitehouse applauds Obama overtime proposal

(WPRI/Brian Yocono)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) —  The Obama Administration proposed a new rule Monday to boost wages for millions of Americans.

Millions of salaried workers would benefit from the proposal, which would require businesses to pay employees 1½ times their regular pay for any work beyond 40 hours a week.

“We’ve got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded,” President Barack Obama wrote in an op-ed published Monday in The Huffington Post. “That’s how America should do business. In this country, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

According to the Associated Press, the changes will be finalized sometime in the next year.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released a statement Tuesday, applauding the new overtime rule.

“Too many workers in Rhode Island and across the country are working long hours without guaranteed overtime pay,” Whitehouse said. “This change will ensure that more workers are fully paid for the hours they put in, boosting paychecks and strengthening our economy. I thank President Obama and Secretary Perez for implementing this change.”

For the National Retail Federation, the new rules are alarming.

“You may get overtime but you may lose access to salary and benefits along the way,” said Vice President Neil Trautwein.

Republicans say they plan to fight the proposal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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