Secretary of Labor Spells out New OT Rules; Chao Visits FCCJ in an Effort to Clear Confusion Surrounding the Law That Starts in August

Article excerpt

Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS, The Times-Union

U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao touted the benefit that changes in federal overtime regulations will have on nurses during a visit Monday to Florida Community College at Jacksonville's North Campus.

Flanked by two of the school's nursing students, Chao said that when the changes are implemented, all licensed practical nurses will be eligible to receive overtime pay, and registered nurses who now receive overtime will continue to do so.

"This increases the number of workers who are guaranteed overtime," she said. "Overtime regulations have not changed since 1949. The profession of nursing has changed, but employment law has not changed with it."

Chao's visit was one of several stops she's making around the country. Her visit to FCCJ fulfilled two of the Labor Department's goals, she said: saluting the efforts of community colleges in retraining workers for new jobs and clearing up confusion about changes being made to the overtime laws.

Under the current system, she said, too many businesses and employees are confused about who has to receive overtime pay for extra hours. Department of Labor investigators have themselves been confused, she said, making it harder to enforce the law.

As a result, workers end up having to sue their employers privately. …