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Salaried workers could get overtime pay

By Katie Johnston, Boston Globe staff |

Millions of American workers who put in extra hours with no extra pay would soon be eligible for overtime under a plan unveiled Monday night by President Obama. The proposed regulations would more than double the current threshold at which many salaried employees stop getting overtime pay, covering those who make up to $50,440 a year.

That is welcome news for workers like Gassan Marzuq. As the manager of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Kingston, Gassan Marzuq sometimes worked 80 or 90 hours a week — spending most of his days serving coffee, running the cash register, and mopping the floors.

Yet because he was a salaried employee who had been deemed ineligible for overtime, his $825 a week in pay sometimes averaged out to roughly the same hourly rate his workers were paid — a reality for many managers when they work more than 40 hours a week.

The Obama administration’s proposal, revealed in an op-ed by the president on the Huffington Post Monday night and set to be officially announced Tuesday, would extend overtime protections to roughly 5 million workers in 2016.

In 1975, about 62 percent of the salaried workforce were eligible for overtime pay, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank that advocates for low-income workers. Today, because of inflation, 8 percent are covered.

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