Heidi Shierholz

Heidi Shierholz is a senior economist and the Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute and is a former Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Recent Articles

Trump to Keep Millions of Workers from Getting Overtime Pay

Obama’s regulations said workers with incomes up to $55,000 could qualify. Trump’s new regs reportedly will reduce that to $35,000.

In 2016, after two years of preparation, listening sessions, economic analysis, and bureaucratic hoop-jumping, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced an update to the rules governing which workers are guaranteed overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that nearly every employee be paid time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours a week—but certain salaried workers can be exempted if they qualify as an “executive, administrator, or professional.” Because who qualifies as an executive can be tricky to determine, the law also sets a bright-line salary threshold, so that low-paid workers can’t be stuck working long hours without overtime simply because they have some managerial duties. When the threshold was updated in 1975, more than 60 percent of full-time salaried workers were under the threshold and thus automatically qualified for overtime. But the threshold has never been adequately updated since that...