Obama's overtime pay push seen reshaping U.S. payrolls, courts

U.S. President Barack Obama talks before signing a Presidential Memorandum at the White House in WashingtonIf the Obama administration follows through on overtime pay reforms, businesses will have to realign payroll policies for millions of salaried workers and a flurry of lawsuits could follow asking courts to clarify the new standards. Legal battles over overtime pay are already common. Workers often sue for unpaid wages, claiming they were misclassified as managers, who generally are ineligible for overtime pay, even though they spend most of their time handling the same tasks as overtime-eligible hourly workers. If, as some expect, the U.S. Labor Department reverts to a classification test it used before 2004, it would likely make more workers overtime-eligible, and a new round of litigation could result as companies sort out employee reclassifications.

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