Montana Labor, Non-Profit Groups React to New Federal Overtime Rule

May 18, 2016

A new federal overtime rule could have profound impacts in Montana.

The Montana AFL-CIO’s Bob Funk describes a new rule designed to extend overtime pay protections to millions of American workers as a major victory.

"At this point if you make $23,000 your boss can tell you you have to work overtime without pay. That’s just not right. That’s wage theft."

He’s talking about a new rule from the U.S. Labor Department.

Starting December 1, most salaried workers earning about $47,500 or less a year will get time-and-a-half pay when they put in over 40 hours a week. That’s more than double the existing overtime cutoff.

Helena’s Liz Moore says the rule should be easy to rally behind.

"On the one hand we’re supportive from the social justice, moral perspective, but from the perspective of how do we actually do this, it’s pretty worrisome."

Moore is the executive director of the Montana Nonprofit Association.

Opponents say some workers could earn more money under the new rule, but add others could see reduced hours and flexibility.

Montana AFL-CIO’s Bob Funk calls these disingenuous arguments.

Liz Moore, meanwhile, says the 630 charitable groups that make up the Montana Nonprofit Association have difficult staffing decisions to make between now and December 1. And she can’t promise services won’t be affected in the long run.