Thousands of low-income workers will be descending on McDonald’s Headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., Wednesday, waging what organizers call “the biggest-ever series of strikes and protests to hit the company’s annual shareholder meeting.”
Fast food workers will be joined by home care, child care and other low-wage workers from across the country in a wave of actions that will kick off with a strike at the flagship Rock N Roll McDonald’s in downtown Chicago before proceeding to Oak Brook. The workers are calling for $15 an hour and union rights.
Labor Department May Underestimate Workers’ Benefit from New Overtime Rules
The Washington-based Economic Policy Institute estimates that 12.5 million salaried workers will gain overtime protections under new Labor Department rules.
The rule change raises the threshold under which all salaried workers are guaranteed the right to overtime pay. The EPI estimate is three times higher than the department’s own because it includes workers who had been exempted after being misclassified as performing executive, administrative or professional duties. EPI Analyst Will Kimball says these duties are difficult to define.
“The nice thing about this salary test is that it supersedes the duties component of the overtime protections. So basically anyone making under $913 a week, is covered. Regardless of your duties, there’s a nice clear, understandable line for everyone as far as who is covered and who is not. For these employers to not take advantage of these sets of workers who are right on the cusp of being managerial, but also carrying out probably the same duties as the hourly employees right below them, so that they can’t just simply throw more work on these employees without having to pay extra for it. Really, below that salary, no one could be expected to be carrying out executive, administrative or professional duties,” Kimball said.