If a bill proposed by State Department of Labor Officials is approved, that dollar amount would drop to about $22,000 annually.
A spokesperson for the Maine Department of Labor, Nina McLaughlin, said the measure to change the salaried employee overtime regulation is 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.
McLaughlin stated "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."
Representative Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, said "So, we're talking about folks working 50 hours, 60 hours a week and not being paid more than $23,660." He added 98 percent of Mainers today make more than $23,660.
AFL-CIO Executive Director Matt Schlobohm said "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."
The AFL-CIO official contends this move by the Department of Labor would cut the wages of thousands of Maine workers. The DOL's McLaughlin, however disagrees. She said "We want to make sure people are being paid fair wages." She added 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.