New Overtime Rules Take Effect

The new overtime rules in the Fair Labor Standards Act, pushed by the Bush Administration under the guise of "updating", took effect August 23 after lengthy and repeated efforts to amend or defeat them were thwarted by the Bush administration. For an analysis of the situation and the new rules, visit the Economic Policy Institute overtime page. Their downloadable report, "Longer Hours, Less Pay" is very readable and worth reading.

What will the impact of the new rules be for union workers?

Overtime rules for union-represented workers are spelled out in the collectively bargained contract between the employer and the union. A collective bargaining agreement may not set a standard lower than those set by state and federal laws, including rules governing such things as minimum wage, overtime, and workplace safety, but unions and employers are free to agree to higher standards, or to set standards in areas not covered by any law.