WORKING OVERTIME

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FYI: Senate Democrats are making their last stand to block a White House plan to rewrite the rules governing overtime pay. In September, the Senate inserted language into its Department of Labor funding bill that blocked the department from implementing a new rule trimming the number of white collar workers who qualify for overtime. A House-Senate conference committee took the language out, but Senate Democrats have thus far blocked passage of a massive piece of legislation that includes the labor department funding. Yesterday, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held hearings in which the Economic Policy Institute argued that 8 million workers would lose their right to overtime pay under the new regs. The White House argues that cutting the number of white collar workers getting overtime will make room for more low-income workers. EPI argues that expansion won’t occur, because the new rules leave open too many windows for exempting workers. [12/12/03]