Labor Expansion; Boris is in Trouble

Grind for September 27th
“It’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.” – Navjot Singh Sidhu

Get To Work

The Headline

Labor Department expands overtime pay protections to 1.3 million workers

The Grind

New rules finalized Tuesday will add roughly 1.3 million people to the ranks of workers qualified for overtime pay or a shorter workweek.

Starting next January, the minimum salary threshold will increase from $23,660 to $35,568 – meaning that individuals earning less than $35,568 per year will qualify for overtime pay protections.

The Details

Critics say the expansion leaves out too many Americans who regularly work more than 40 hours a week without additional pay.

Opponents would rather have implemented an Obama-era proposal to raise the minimum salary threshold to $47,000 – a move that would have expanded protections to 3 million people.

The proposal was defeated by a Texas judge who argued that individuals exempt from overtime protections are supposed to be executive, administrative, or professional workers earning a salary – and that some people in that category earn less than $47,000 per year.

The Trump Administration’s $35,568 figure is far more realistic.

“Overall, our feeling is that this is a more workable approach,” says Nancy Hammer, speaking on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management.

The new policy does not automatically adjust with inflation or block states from setting overtime rules above federal requirements.


The Headline

British Supreme Court declares Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament unlawful

The Grind

Britain’s highest court on Tuesday ruled Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue (suspend) Parliament broke the law.

In a unanimous decision, the judges said it was wrong to suspend Parliament during the weeks leading up to the Brexit deadline and that Boris had no valid reason to ask for the suspension.

Johnson had argued the suspension was a routine break leading to a Queen’s speech by a new Prime Minister. Opponents accused Johnson of trying to prevent lawmakers from debating Brexit.

The Background

When Johnson took office in July, he promised to deliver Brexit by October 31st with or without a withdrawal agreement.

Opponents worried that a no-deal Brexit would plunge the UK into a recession.

Johnson asked the Queen to suspend Parliament from September 10th to October 14th, giving lawmakers little time to debate Brexit before the deadline.

The suspension was deemed illegal by several lower courts before it was overturned by the Supreme Court.

A bill to block a no-deal Brexit passed the Commons on September 4th and Johnson proposed a general election be held on October 15th.

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