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Gov. Whitmer pushes for overtime pay rule more generous than federal standard

time sheet on desk
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan will change its labor rules to ensure almost 200,000 salaried workers become eligible for overtime pay. Her plan would make Michigan’s overtime rule more generous than the federal standard.

“That’s how we grow our economy," she said. "That’s how we create and protect jobs. And that’s how we protect people who are truly working and trying to get ahead.”

A rule will be drafted by the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. It will say workers who make $51,000 or less annually will qualify for overtime. 

“Five other states in our country have already moved forward; taken similar action to what we’re announcing today," Whitmer said. "California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington. So it’s time for Michigan to join them.”

Jeff Donofrio is the director of the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. His department will draft and implement the rule.

“Michiganders face economic headwinds even in a growing economy," Donofrio said. "Income growth in Michigan lags behind the national average, and the gains that have been realized haven’t been widely shared.”

He also says larger paychecks will also be a boost to Michigan’s economy. It will have to go through a process that includes hearings and a public comment period before it’s adopted.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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