Colorado workers should be paid fairly for the hours they work. Historically, for many Colorado workers, overtime pay for working extra hours was a way to not only supplement income, but to pave a path into the middle class.
Unfortunately fewer and fewer workers are eligible for this important benefit. In 1975, as many as 62% of salaried workers nationally were automatically eligible to receive overtime pay if they worked more than 40 hours a week. Today in Colorado, it’s estimated that only 7% of Colorado’s workers were automatically eligible for overtime.
Because the 1975 salary threshold has not been fully adjusted to even reflect inflation, Colorado workers with modest salaries — fast-food managers, paralegals, assistant retail managers and other hardworking people — currently do not qualify for any overtime pay.
Colorado should consider changing the salary threshold for overtime pay; simply adjusting the salary threshold to keep up with inflation from 1975 would give well over 200,000 Coloradans access to overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week. By adjusting the salary threshold to reflect inflation since 1975, the proposal would make salaried workers who earn slightly more than $50,000 – or just over $1,000 a week – automatically eligible for overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week.
Even a small increase in the salary threshold would not only reward Coloradans who work hard, but help the whole economy by pumping millions back into our economy.
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