Wisconsin Dems introduce legislation to expand overtime pay law

The Wisconsin Gazette

Legislation to bring Wisconsin’s overtime pay law in line with existing salaries and the current cost of living was introduced by state Sen. Dave Hansen and state Rep. Cory Mason, both Democrats.

The legislation was first introduced in 2015 by Sen. Julie Lassa and Rep. Andy Jorgenson.

Wisconsin’s middle class has shrunk faster than any other state in the nation between 2000 and 2013.  In just 13 years, real median household incomes fell almost $9,000 or 15 percent.  A Gallup poll found that salaried Americans are working an average of 47 hours a week, with 18 percent working more than 60 hours per week.

“Under this governor and Republican leadership, it is the wealthy who are making out,” Hansen said.

In 1975, more than 65 percent of salaried workers earned time-and-a-half pay for every hour they worked over 40 hours a week. By 2013, only 11 percent of salaried workers qualified for overtime pay.

Mason said, “Setting Wisconsin’s threshold at a realistic administrative salary of $970 per week or $50,440 a year would more than 80,000 more Wisconsin workers will be eligible for overtime and that Wisconsin workers would be paid fairly for the hours they work and help them regain the purchasing power their parents had 40 years ago.”

Wisconsin’s threshold has not been updated since 1977, meaning that under current state law anyone making more than $9,000 a year would be considered “white collar” and ineligible for the overtime pay they deserve.

Federal law hasn’t been adjusted in more than 10 years.