Biden’s Shocking Legal Change To America’s Workforce

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

( –  President Biden has announced an expansion of overtime protections for workers earning below the median individual salary, impacting around 1 million people. This executive action, revealed on Monday, will extend these protections to workers making less than $43,888 annually, according to a statement from the White House.

“This will mean bigger paychecks and more time with family for millions of Americans,” Biden stated.

Biden has committed to further extending these protections if he is reelected. In such a case, the overtime benefits would be expanded to an additional 3 million workers, with the threshold increasing to $58,656, surpassing the median individual salary of $47,960 as reported by Census data.

The new overtime rules, effective immediately, result from a rule finalized in April under the Fair Labor Standards Act, reflecting updated calculations by the Labor Department. Julie Su, the acting Labor Secretary, noted that this rule change would continue to adjust every three years starting in 2025.

Following the pandemic, low-income workers experienced wage increases at a faster rate than the national average, a phenomenon known as “wage compression.” This trend, identified by researchers at MIT and the University of Massachusetts, allowed greater worker mobility and wage growth, particularly among young, less-educated workers.

The surge in lower-income wages may have influenced the 2022 midterm elections. Contrary to many forecasts predicting significant Republican victories, Democrats maintained control of the Senate, and Republicans only narrowly won the House. Despite inflation reaching nearly 9 percent annually, improved wages and working conditions might have garnered more support for Democrats.

Matt Darling, an employment policy fellow at the Niskanen Center, told The Hill in 2022, “[Many voters] were better off than they were two years ago, so the electoral blowback was minimal.”

This policy announcement follows a debate performance from Biden that has caused concern within the Democratic Party, as reported by several media outlets.

Biden has positioned himself as a pro-labor president, famously joining an active picket line with the United Auto Workers during their strike last year. While he supports ending Trump-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of next year, he has pledged not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000 annually.

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