Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Overtime Pay -- ObamaCare; Sink Sunk -- Nothing About The Bakken

For quite some time I opined that ObamaCare will have far-reaching consequences. One of them: the US now has an "official" definition of the workweek: 30 hours. I suggested that it was just a matter of time before the law would mandate that overtime will begin at 30 hours going forward. It appears this is the first step. The article does not mention the 30-hour work week because it deals with salaried personnel for the most part but the dots are not hard to connect. The New York Times is reporting today:
Under current federal regulations, workers who are deemed executive, administrative or professional employees can be denied overtime pay under a so-called white-collar exemption.
Under the new rules that Mr. Obama is seeking, fewer salaried employees could be blocked from receiving overtime, a move that would potentially shift billions of dollars’ worth of corporate income into the pockets of workers. Currently, employers are prohibited from denying time-and-a-half overtime pay to any salaried worker who makes less than $455 per week. Mr. Obama’s directive would significantly increase that salary level.
In addition, Mr. Obama will try to change rules that allow employers to define which workers are exempt from receiving overtime based on the kind of work they perform. Under current rules, if an employer declares that an employee’s primary responsibility is executive, such as overseeing a cleanup crew, then that worker can be exempted from overtime.
It plays to his base, but it's a slipper slope. The Los Angeles Times is gearing up its base; reporting today:
Republicans scored a significant victory in a special congressional election Tuesday, holding on to a seat in a swing district in Florida that Democrats had high hopes of capturing after a campaign that focused heavily on President Obama's healthcare law.
With all precincts reporting, Republican David Jolly held a 3,400-vote margin over Democrat Alex Sink in the district, which stretches along the Gulf Coast north of St. Petersburg. The returns remain unofficial until final mail-in and provisional ballots can be counted, but Sink conceded defeat in a statement to supporters shortly after the polls closed.
In other words: The Los Angeles Times is telling its base that this is going to be an important election year. Do you think the LA Times really cares about a small Congressional district in Florida? LOL. The scuttlebutt here in Starbucks: a) this was a do-or-die campaign for the Democrats; b) the Democrats poured a huge amount of money to take this GOP seat. I don't know if it was a "do-or-die" but if they did pour that much money into the campaign, it speaks volumes about what to expect in 2014.

If the president doesn't think voters are watching, his pollsters probably do. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the president's approval rating his a new all-time low
The results suggest Mr. Obama could weigh on fellow Democrats in midterm elections this fall, particularly in the conservative states that will play a large role in deciding whether his party retains its Senate majority.
Mr. Obama's job approval ticked down to 41% in March from 43% in January, marking a new low. Some 54% disapproved of the job he is doing, matching a previous high from December, when the botched rollout of his signature health law played prominently in the news. The latest survey also showed the lowest-ever approval in Journal/NBC polling for Mr. Obama's handling of foreign policy.

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