Thursday, 08 February 2018 17:23

Overtime regulations changes challenged Featured

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AUGUSTA - Some salaried employees earning less than $30,000 s are eligible for overtime pay.

But if a bill proposed by state department of labor officials gets approved, that dollar amount would drop to about $22,000 annually.

A spokesperson for the Maine Department of Labor, said the measure to change the salaried employee overtime regulation was an effort to conform to the federal wage laws.

"Right now the way that works is Maine's salary threshold must exceed 3,000 times the minimum wage," Nina Mclaughlin of the Maine Department of Labor..

With Maine's minimum wage tied to annual increases, that means the salary threshold would increase every year as well. For example, if a person makes less than the salary threshold, they must receive overtime pay. However, as with many rules, there are exceptions to that regulation .

"So, we're talking about folks working 50 hours, 60 hours a week and not being paid more than 23,660 dollars," said Representative Ryan Fecteau, (D) - Biddeford, who is the House of Representatives chairperson on the Legislature Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee.

He said, 98 percent of Mainers today make more than $23,660 and would be adversely impacted if this bill passed.

"If you are an assistant store manager at Best Buy or you work at the Dollar Store as a quote unquote assistant manager and you make $25,000 a year, you get no overtime unless the company chooses to give it. They're not required by law," said Matt Schlobohm, the Maine AFL-CIO executive director.

The AFL-CIO official contended this move by the department of labor would cut the wages of thousands of Maine workers. The labor department's Mclaughlin, however disagrees.

"We want to make sure people are being paid fair wages," she said during an interview Thursday morning..

She says this is an effort to avoid automatic increases in the threshold.

Representative Fecteau and the afl-cio executive director believe it's highly unlikely this bill will get legislative approval.

TJ Tremble

Reporter
[email protected]

T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, studying political science.

He started his news career at the Camden Herald, many years ago. He also worked for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland, Belfast and Bangor.

He entered broadcast journalism as news director for WQCB-FM, Brewer. For Many years he worked behind the scenes in radio and television.

Recently, he worked as a news reporter for Zone Radio Corporation in Bangor [WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZLO-FM.

He has received reporting awards from the Maine Press Association, Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

He is married, with three adult children and three grandchildren.