Jeb Bush Wants Americans to Work Longer Hours but Doesn’t Support Overtime Expansion
Speaking at an event in Iowa on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush voiced his opposition to the Obama administration’s proposal to expand overtime protection to an extra five million workers.
Calling it “the wrong approach,” he argued that the plan will result in lower wages, less overtime available, fewer people working, and will also ban business owners from giving managers bonuses:
“The net effect of the overtime rule will be, if history’s any guide, there will be less overtime pay, there will be less wages earned,” Bush said. He also said it wouldn’t allow “giv[ing] a bonus to a manager in your store or your company,” and that it will also “lessen the number of people working rather than increasing.”
Currently, those who make less than $23,660 a year and/or those who can be classified as “executives” — including, for example, people who supervise a clean-up crew — are exempted from the requirement that they be paid time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours a week. Because the salary threshold hasn’t gotten a meaningful update since 1975, it has effectively lowered as inflation rose. The administration has proposed bringing it up to $50,440 by 2016, just shy of where the threshold would be if it had risen with inflation.
If employers have to pay more when workers go over 40 hours a week, it can have one of two effects: Either those workers will end up making more for the extra time on the job, helping to combat the wage stagnation most Americans have faced for a decade, or employers will cut back on hours, giving people more time to spend at home with family and friends rather than putting in uncompensated hours at work. That would help combat a workweek that is, on average, a day longer than the supposed nine-to-five, 40-hour standard.