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Overhauling overtime standards. The Fair Labor Standards Act should be updated



Overhauling overtime standards. The Fair Labor Standards Act should be updated



Health Progress 71(7): 32-33



The minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) have drawn considerable attention through the years. But the act's overtime provisions have created some major problems yet generated little debate. As it now stands, the act stipulates that employees be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 during a workweek. Certain employers, like hospitals and residential care facilities, have the additional option of paying overtime on the basis of a 14-day period for hours worked in excess of eight hours a day or of 80 hours during a two-week period. Recent amendments to the act have made it increasingly unresponsive to changes in employers' and employees' needs. The act reduces the scheduling flexibility many employers, like hospitals, need. Allowing more exceptions to the act's current provisions would create more flexibility. A workable plan would be to permit organizations open for business seven days a week to calculate overtime on the basis of a straight 80-hour work period. Such a change would not preclude management and labor from negotiating overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 8, 10, 12, or more a day.

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Accession: 046897434

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PMID: 10106129


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