For some of us that were considered management when it came to how we were paid, this is a very big deal.

The current salary threshold for overtime is badly out of date, says Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute. The last time the overtime threshold was significantly raised, in 1975, $23,660 covered a full 61 percent of salaried employees.

Since then, two big things have changed. For one, inflation has risen while the threshold has not. Today $23,660 is below the poverty line for a family of four. Only 8 percent of salaried workers qualify for overtime with the level set so low. An employee earning $24,000 a year who works more than 64 hours a week stands to earn less than minimum wage under the current overtime rules. “Clearly, the salary threshold no longer does a satisfactory job of covering those vulnerable to unscrupulous employers,” says Eisenbrey.

Another significant change has been in productivity. Between 1979 and 2013, productivity has increased by 64 percent while average wages have grown by just 6 percent. A big reason for that divergence has been the growing number of employees working more hours and not being compensated for them. The new overtime rule helps reverse this trend by giving workers more power over their labor and fairer compensation for their increased productivity.
Why the DOL's New Overtime Rule is Such a Big Deal