Minimum wage for managers could be going up under presidential order

President orders review of overtime rules

TAMPA - Low paid service jobs are often a first step on the career ladder. A promotion to manager is something to celebrate, but not if it's just an excuse for the employer to avoid paying overtime.

That's one reason President Barack Obama ordered the Labor Department to rewrite the rules on workers who earn no overtime. Under current law, an overtime exempt manager or supervisor must make at least $455 a week or  about $23,000 a year. The new rules could increase that minimum pay for overtime exempt managers by a third.

"I think every (business) organization is going to be against this, including the Manufacturers Association and the Chamber of Commerce" said lawyer Bill deMeza of Tampa.

deMeza thinks even Congress might line up against the changes. But labor advocates will likely support it. If the new rules are enacted, low paid managers will either get a significant raise or be put back on hourly status and be paid time and a half for any time over 40 hours a week.

deMeza also believes the new regulations could create more jobs. Rather than giving their low paid manager a raise or paying that person a lot of overtime, an employer might choose to hire an extra person for 40 hours or less at the straight time rate.

But that might make the first step on the career ladder a little higher.

"In fact employers may be disinclined to promote people into executive or administrative roles where they might have done it today," said deMeza.

The details on this minimum wage for managers are still being worked out, but they're also expected to tighten up the requirement that overtime exempt employees are actually supervisors and not just regular employees with a name tag that says "manager."

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