Trump Brings Back an Obama Era Policy. Sort of.

Under Obama, a conservative judge ruled it unconstitutional.

recession is coming.

And with the 2020 election looming the Trump administration is willing to do anything to ensure that bad economic news doesn’t impact their goal of securing a second term.

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures and the Trump administration has decided that resurrecting an Obama era policy that was effectively killed by a conservative judge and Trump’s election, is just the perfect distraction from an impending economic downturn.

From Daily Kos:

The Obama administration tried to raise the threshold to which salaried workers are eligible for overtime from the current level of $23,660 up to $47,476, meaning that a lot of workers would suddenly get either more time or more pay.

That got blocked by a conservative judge, and now the Trump administration plans to propose an increase to $35,308 — which sounds good, if you don’t realize that $47,476 had been on the table, so everyone earning between those two numbers will now be left out.

It’s an advance over the status quo, sure, but a big step back from what the status quo would have been if right-wing groups hadn’t sued to block the Obama policy and a right-wing judge hadn’t taken their side.

On the surface, this seems like a good thing, until you realize just how many workers are going to be left behind who would have benefited from the original rule.

Some 8.2 million workers are going to not get the bump in pay or time they would have if the Obama era policy had been allowed to take place.

While the new Trump rule is clearly an improvement over the $23,600 workers are currently making that exempts them from overtime pay, it leaves behind so many vulnerable workers, that one can’t help but see this as a loss when so much more was originally on the table.

The original policy would have been a major boon to black and Hispanic workers who are some of the lowest-paid workers in the country, regardless of education level.

Black and Hispanic workers make up 21 percent of the salaried workforce but made up 28 percent of those who would have benefited from the Obama era overtime pay rule.

Young workers would have also seen a major gain with the original overtime policy. Millennials lag behind previous generations in almost every category and will be the first generation to make less than their parents. They are also 28 percent of the workforce but comprise 36 percent of the affected group.

Women (51 percent), one-third of those with less than a college education and over 7 million children would have also benefited from the updated federal overtime pay policies under the Obama administration.

It’s rumored the Trump administration plans on making their grand announcement over the Labor Day holiday. While we can all celebrate the progress for some workers with the new overtime pay rule, let’s not forget the hypocrisy of the current administration resurrecting a policy that Republicans fought and a conservative judge previously ruled unconstitutional just to save their re-election chances from an economic downturn they are responsible for creating.

Writer. Editor. Professional Smartass.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store