White-collar workers, long used to salaried pay, could return to doing time sheets
Some five million American workers will be newly eligible for overtime pay as early as next year. To get that pay, those managers, supervisors, data analysts and others may have to do something they haven’t done in years, if ever: punch a clock.
Shaun Pilcher, a paralegal in New York, said that when
he began clocking in more than 10 years ago, ‘it kind of
felt like a demotion.’ Photo: Steve Remich/WSJ
The proposed expansion of overtime rules put forth by the Obama administration has sent employers rushing to reallocate work and sketch out the costs. It has also posed a dilemma for managers, who say asking a new group of employees to clock in could change work in subtle yet profound ways, making some workers feel they are being pushed to a lower rung of the office caste system.
Yoking employees to the clock flies in the face of modern management theory, much of which holds that flexibility and autonomy are crucial for a high-performing workforce. Historically, clocking in has been the province of workers in blue-collar and service roles, while managerial, professional and white-collar workers have been free to manage their time as they need—one of the perks of moving up the corporate ladder. The new rules could change all that, experts say.
“For a lot of people, the difference between hourly or salaried is the difference between a job and a career,” says Nancy Hammer, senior government affairs policy counsel at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) an HR professional group.
Under the proposed Department of Labor regulations, salaried workers earning less than $50,440 will be eligible for overtime pay. The rules would more than double the previous salary threshold for overtime-eligible workers, sweeping in some managers and supervisors. A Department of Labor spokesman declined to comment on when the rules would be completed or implemented.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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