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New overtime rules another reason to oppose Clinton

November 7, 2016

Most everyone has heard about employers that block workers’ access to personal email accounts on work computers. But now, thanks to a new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule, some employers are blocking workers’ access to work emails after hours.

Why?

Because although many employers probably want employees to be able to check work email whenever they want, they don’t want to be forced to pay employees time and a half for doing so, which is what the new overtime rule ridiculously mandates.

Under the new rule, employers must pay workers with annual salaries under $47,476 overtime for any work over 40 hours in a given week. So, understandably, employers are being more cautious about restricting workers’ hours and access to work-based resources.

That’s not quite the result the Obama administration touted when pushing for the rule. The president’s team claimed that employees weren’t being fairly compensated and that the rule would put $1.2 billion more per year into workers’ paychecks.

But employers have bottom lines, not $1.2 billion slush funds they can tap into without consequence. President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton don’t seem to understand that.

Instead of increasing workers’ pay, most employers are figuring out how they can keep pay the same by imposing new restrictions on their workers and by lowering their base salaries or by making them hourly employees. This will presumably leave employees with a lessened ability to determine their schedules as they wish.

Most employers want to afford their employees, who might need to attend a child’s soccer game or school function, the ability to take off two hours one week and then make up the time later. But the new overtime law complicates the situation. So much for those flexible work schedules women have brought to the workforce in recent decades.

Salaries, as opposed to hourly wages, are desirable for workers and employers alike. They provide stable incomes for workers and stable expenses for employers. Moreover, they allow workers to be paid to get a job done as opposed to being paid for the hours they clock. This encourages greater productivity and can allow workers the flexibility they desire or need in order to balance their work and home commitments.

This is a rule that many hope Donald Trump will repeal or significantly change if he is elected president in the Nov. 8 general election. He understands the realities of the business world much more than Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton. It’s one more reason to consider casting a vote for the Republican presidential candidate.