On May 1st, we will know for sure where Crooked Donald really stands on keeping his promises to help millions of working Americans. On that day, Trump’s Justice Department will tell the courts whether they are going to do one of three things: First, by some miracle they reverse themselves and defend President Obama’s Executive Order to restore overtime pay to 4 million working Americans. Second, Trump’s team asks for time to write new regulations or third, they will refuse to defend Obama’s order and force groups like the AFL-CIO to sue. Or, finally, they could ask for more time to decide what to do—and that might be the worst of all, because it would let Congress in.
One thing we know for sure—Trump ain’t going with option one, as he has already promised his corporate donors he will kill overtime for millions of workers.
If this is the first you’re hearing of this, you are not alone: Crooked Donald’s first 100 days have been so controversial, his hot mess of an administration is overshadowing many important issues that need more media coverage. So just because Crooked Donald’s failing to keep his first 100 day promises doesn’t mean he is not doing a lot of damage.
And the Overtime Rules are one issue falling into this media black hole but it is vital for so many families.
A bit of background: in 2004, the Bush administration, backed by the Chamber of Commerce and other corporate interests were pushing an end to overtime with an appealingly named “Flex time bill” that they promised would give workers more time off for their families—of course, the exact opposite was true, so Congress rejected it and Bush simply issued an Executive Order killing enforcement of overtime laws.
And it wasn’t long before corporate America took advantage and robbed millions of workers of wages: suddenly stockroom clerks at Walmart, line managers at Carl’s Jr. restaurants or cleaning crews at Trump Hotels were designated as “managers” and thus had the same job classification at their company’s CEO’s and as they soon learned “managers” don’t get overtime.
The Obama administration pledged to fix this problem but it took awhile, as they both worked with companies to self-reform their wage and overtime rules but also to write a regulation that would withstand a court challenge. In fact, some progressives are hoping the Trump administration goes for a court challenge because they believe they can win in court.
Some Republicans also think they can lose in court, so they’ve urged Trump to ask the court for time to re-write the regulations—but corporate interests are against that move because it might restore some overtime, so they may ask Trump to stall for time to let Congress take a shot.
Right now, there are two bills in Congress, HR 1180 in the House and S 801 in the Senate: both would make permanent the Bush rules denying overtime to millions of blue collar and retail workers. Speaker Ryan has already indicated he wants to push that solution this spring, so labor and progressive groups are organizing to call Members of Congress to oppose both bills—you can find how you can help by clicking here.
But for now, Crooked Donald gets the first crack at a decision on May Day—and you can be sure it won’t be the right one.