In a move that could impact workers who earn less than $55,000 a year the Department of Labor has proposed changing the rules about who is entitled to overtime pay.

Currently a worker who makes less than $36,000 a year is entitled to overtime pay when they are required to work more than 40 hours in a week.

That means a worker who works more than 40 hours in a seven-day period is entitled to time and a half for each hour over that 40-hour period.  Currently, this rule doesn't apply to those who earn more than $36,000.

Under the proposed new rules, those earning up to $55,000 would now be entitled to overtime for working more than 40-hours in a given seven-day workweek.

If this new rule goes into effect, the Labor Department estimates that 3.6 million people will be impacted.

The U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement on their web site,

Many low-paid salaried employees work side-by-side with hourly employees, doing the same tasks and often working over 40 hours a week. But because of outdated and out-of-sync rules, these low-paid salaried workers aren’t getting paid time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a week. The department’s proposed salary level would help ensure that more of these low-paid salaried workers receive overtime protections traditionally provided by the department’s rules.

Traditionally, there have been some positions that are exempt from overtime rules.  Part of their research included trying to better define the positions that would be exempt from overtime pay.

Before the new rules take effect, there will be a 60-day period for public comment.

If you make less than $55,000, the Labor Department wants you to start getting overtime pay (

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