Congresswoman Linda Sánchez Hails Passage Of Amendment To Block Overtime Regulations Hurtful To Middle Class Families

September 9, 2004
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39) today hailed the House’s passage of an important amendment to block implementation of the Bush Administration’s new overtime pay regulations. The regulations, which took effect on August 23, do not compensate extra hours of work. They cut pay, and lengthen hours for workers. The amendment was passed by a vote of 223 to 193.

“Today’s vote is critical for working families. Four years ago, overtime pay accounted for about a quarter of the income of employees who worked overtime. With the new regulations the Bush Administration and Republican Leaders told workers: Your extra work isn’t worth extra pay. Today, Members of the U.S. House voted to block the President’s overtime pay cut which will hurt workers in California, from cops and nurses to pre-school caretakers and restaurant supervisors,” said Congresswoman Sánchez.

This is a rare victory for working families, but the White House has threatened to veto the final bill if the amendment stays. Without this amendment, Middle-income workers making between $23,660 and $100,000 will feel the greatest impact of the regulations. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that this will deny overtime to at least six million workers, at a time when household incomes are down and prices are up.

Nationwide, the regulations deny overtime pay to 30,000 nursery and pre-school teachers, 1.9 million supervisors in fast food restaurants, lodging establishments, and retail stores, and more than 900,000 employees without a college or graduate degree who, because of hard work and experience, would be left out. In addition, anyone designated a “team leader” on a “major project” by their employer would be denied overtime as well, even if they are not a supervisor, which could strip nearly 2.3 million workers of their overtime earnings. The regulations also deny overtime to 160,000 workers in the financial services industries, 130,000 chefs, and 87,000 computer programmers.

“The White House is using every bullying tactic to strike out at middle class families. We need to do everything possible to reward working people who are willing to put in the late hours and sacrifice to provide for their families. Now is not the time to be giving less to the people who work the most, ” concluded Congresswoman Sánchez.

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez founded the Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus to help protect American workers.