WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) welcomed President Obama's plan to extend overtime pay protection for workers in New Mexico and across the country. The President's plan would guarantee overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than an estimated $50,440 next year. The increased threshold would tie overtime protections to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers. The plan would raise the salary threshold from $455 a week -- below the poverty threshold for a family of four -- to a projected level of $970 a week in 2016. In New Mexico, 20,000 workers stand to benefit from this proposal.
"Updating our overtime rules is a step in the right direction that will help grow our middle class and create a stronger economy," Sen. Heinrich said. "New Mexicans are no strangers to hard work - we embrace the belief that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to get ahead. Today's announcement also creates a level playing field for business owners who are already doing right by their employees. Our economy is stronger and our workforce is better served when we reward an honest day's work with fair pay."
In January, Senator Heinrich joined a group of 26 senators in supporting updating overtime rules to ensure more middle-class workers are paid fairly for overtime hours. In a letter to President Obama, Senator Heinrich and his colleagues urged the administration to increase the income threshold in order to strengthen overtime protections for millions more middle-class workers. The current annual salary threshold to receive time-and-a-half pay for overtime hours is $23,660 impacting 11 percent of salaried workers nationwide.