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Take Action to Boost Overtime Pay

July 23, 2015 by  
Filed under PCUSA

From the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness
Action Alert: Boost Overtime Pay for 5 Million Americans: Tell the Department of Labor to Support New Overtime Protections
Millions of Americans are working overtime and not getting paid for it. That’s because overtime rules—which require employers to pay workers for time beyond 40 hours a week—have been severely weakened since 1975.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay all covered workers a premium when they work overtime: 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for each hour beyond 40 in a week. Even some salaried employees with some managerial responsibilities, if they earn wages beneath a certain threshold, are covered by this protection, which is designed to spread available work and increase employment, and to raise the wages of employees who are required by their employers to work long hours. But far too many salaried workers are not covered by overtime or minimum-wage protections because the salary threshold at $23,660 per year has not kept up with wage growth or inflation and is far too low.
On the subject of fair wages, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the Office of Public Witness has said the following:
“We believe God has provided enough, and workers’ wages and compensation should reflect that reality. A job should keep you out of poverty, not trap you in it”
The Presbyterian Church has a long history of supporting the rights of workers to earn fair wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions.  Indeed, in recognizing the value and dignity of work, the 2008 Social Creed for the 21st Century, adopted by the PC(USA) and our ecumenical partners, says:
“In faith, responding to our Creator, we celebrate the full humanity of each woman, man, and child, all created in the divine image as individuals of infinite worth, by working for…
  • Employment for all, at a family-sustaining living wage, with equal pay for comparable work.
  • The rights of workers to organize, and to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth.
  • Protection from dangerous working conditions, with time and benefits to enable full family life.
Indeed, our biblical tradition also reminds us that the livelihood of workers is a responsibility of the community, for the prophet Malachi, echoing earlier laws and prophets, prophesies, “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against… those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” (3:5)
The Department of Labor just proposed a plan to protect an estimated 5 million additional workers from overtime abuse, and to grant them the wages they are owed. And now they need to hear from you. Click here to use the portal provided by the Economic Policy Institute to submit your comment to the Department of Labor in support of the proposed overtime rules.



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