From Up-and-Coming Manager to Do-The-Minimum Timecard Puncher

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the negative effects of the Administrations new overtime rules for managers.

The only people who now have the right to work more than the minimum to demonstrate one's readiness for more responsibility are those paid over $48,000 a year.  McKinsey consultants and lawyers and investment bankers can choose to work extra hours in order to gain promotions.  McDonald's shift managers no longer have that same right.  This is a law written by salaried professionals telling younger and lower-paid workers that they have no right to be ... salaried professionals.

One of the things that I failed to mention was the reaction of my own managers, which has been universally negative.  No one wants to go back to filling out time sheets.  I know this will sound odd to Progressives, who seem to envision that all workers only want to do the minimum, but my managers fear (rightly) that I will have to set arbitrary maximum numbers of work hours for them.  They take incredible pride in the facilities I ask them to manage, and worry what will happen if something needs doing and they have run out of hours.

A reader of mine sent me another example from the Albuquerque paper that really sums up the change in relationship demanded by the new rules

Although the proposal aims to increase pay for an estimated 5 million workers, including many at restaurants and retailers, some employees are saying, “no thanks.” Bret Crowder, a general manager in one of Shriver’s cafes, doesn’t want to go back to being an hourly paid worker.

“All of a sudden, the government has just demoted me,” he says. “It would basically put me back down to being a teenager.”

My longer post on the effects of this law is here.  Some notes about the arbitrary nature of this decision, and how it was dressed up as science, are here.  And even the DOL admits it won't result in much extra pay.


  1. Matthew Slyfield:

    Bret Crowder: “All of a sudden, the government has just demoted me, it would basically put me back down to being a teenager.”

    Guess what Bret, that's basically what the government thinks you are. You are not competent to make your own decisions without papa government there to guide you.

  2. Lawrence Karch:

    If this idea has any merit at all, the upper salary bound shouldn't be placed at $48,000. That's way too high for most places in the U.S. Something around $30,000 might be more reasonable.

  3. Matthew Slyfield:

    But the current minimum salary to qualify as overtime exempt is $23660. A bump to $30000 would have hardly any impact.

  4. Jim Collins:

    How many of these people will have to start paying union dues because of this?

  5. Remy Oukaour:

    Serious question: If someone has reached their arbitrary maximum of hours and something still needs doing, what are the consequences of just paying them to work an extra hour or two? Can you not afford even that much overtime pay, or do benefit regulations suddenly kick in at N hours that would make it an overall loss?

  6. Tom Murin:

    The person would get paid overtime for the extra hours. The standard is time and a half. This is not the same as someone who goes from part time to full time and then gets full time benefits.

  7. Fred_Z:

    I have the same problem with my small number of employees.

    We have an unfortunate solution. We all lie. The employees do what has to be done. I know what they have done. I watch it and see the result. They post 40 hours a week, no more, no less. I pay them 'bonuses'.

    I pay it weekly in cash, account for it at appropriate holiday times as a bonus, have them sign a receipt for cash at Christmas or whatever.

    Here's the real bad part. This has made us tax crooks. Sometimes I just give them cash and neither of us records it, pays taxes on it or deducts it.

    This is of course the entirely expected consequence of over-regulation, and will ultimately destroy the law and western civ.

  8. Canvasback:

    As we become more like Greece, here is an Economist article about how tax evasion is done over there:
    I have no sympathy for the wankers in D.C. They built this mess.