Labor Secretary Takes On Speaker Ryan On Overtime Rule

Labor Secretary Thomas  Perez (second from right)  listens Thursday to a Milwaukee Bucks official discuss plans for the new Milwaukee basketball arena.

In Milwaukee this week, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez continued his jousting with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan over a recent rule on overtime that could affect millions of American workers.  The Labor Department plans to expand the number of workers eligible to receive time-and-a-half overtime pay.  

Thursday, as Perez toured job and training sites in downtown Milwaukee,  Ryan released a list of groups that the Janesville Republican said would be hurt the most, budget-wise by the new rule. The list includes non-profits, universities, start-up and tech companies, and state and local governments.

But Perez defended the change, saying, “When you work extra, you ought to be paid extra. Working 70 hours a week and making $25,000 a year, and I’ve met people doing that, that’s a poverty wage.”

The overtime rule would cover people making up to about $47,500 a year. It’s scheduled to kick in in December.