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    Posted July 3, 2015 by
    Jedburg, South Carolina
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    Labor Law Change a Ruse to Salaried Employees

    Just when our economy flickers amid a sluggish recovery, President Obama drops another carrot bomb. This one would change US Labor Wage and Hour code to include salaried workers, generally administrative and management staff, as subject to overtime. What this does is expand covered workers, or those under the Wage and Hour Act that earn an hourly wage thereby qualifying them certain "protections" and qualified for voting rights, i.e. unionization. It's another wink to organized labor from the president that ends up dismantling otherwise stable private entities (can anyone pronounce "Saturn," or define the manner in which the Obama administration prevented Roger Penske from purchasing the largely Southern-based, non-union car manufacturer that made pretty darned good automobiles all to satisfy Detroit and the two car manufacturers, not Ford, that took the bailout).
    Getting back to HR 101 and what it would do to companies trying to manage salaried employees who are typically wired to work extra hours to get the job done without seeking much of anything... Under this scenario, I'd be willing to bet my ugly old red F-150 Lariat that the percentage of full time management-level jobs drop by a quarter while part time and/or contract management soars. The notion that companies would simply hire more full time lower-wage workers to make up for the restricted hours worked by the $50K crowd is like believing that the guy offering you a sweet deal on the Brooklyn Bridge is for real.
    My personal experience as a state employee in South Carolina earning the subject salary range was utterly punitive. I have always worked in industries in which one worked as many hours as it took to get the job done. I had never been discouraged to work after hours to satisfy my or my boss's goal or deadline, nor was I ever discouraged from contributing my time to community events as coincidental interest to my job. But while I worked for the Medical University of South Carolina, a state medical university, I was written up and reprimanded several times for working after hours or attending events after hours even though I never sought comp time or anything for it. It was bizarre for me to constantly hear, "That's not your job," or "Just work your 38 hours and go home." Yet, if I failed to meet deadlines or rushed work to squeeze it into the 7.5 hour day, I was busted, nagged and reprimanded. I had never been a bureaucrat before and I hated it. It was contrary to my nature. Obama's proposal would magnify this experience for so many unsuspecting middle-wage salaried workers.
    As a newspaper and periodical reporter and editor for most of my career, I worked 12-16 hour days just to get the story or the publication out, and I did so quite regularly and by nature --- not for the money (as anyone who has struggled on reporter's pay would know), or any overtime.
    Again, my old Ford Lariat goes to anyone who challenges me correctly that this new labor deal Obama is pitching and wooing does not become the death knell for middle-wage jobs as we've known them. Surely, companies exploit this group just as Congress squeezes the middle class to make up for Social and Corporate welfare goodies. But this last stand for moderate success is fairly solid ground for many people and a decent goal for those seeking a move up from minimum wage, painfully boring and/or sweaty thankless work. It's the kind of station from which parents can send their kids to college, or qualify for a traditional home loan.
    Under Obama's carrot trick, the number of these jobs would evaporate and certainly exit to foreign lands. The number of part time workers would soar, which means that more people will struggle to make ends meet, pay for the required Obamacare, and more than likely be forced to seek more and more public assistance.
    If I didn't know better, I'd think this president is trying to destroy the American free enterprise (or what's left of it), and he seems focused on sabotaging a healthy economic recovery all to "spread it around." There's only so many cow pies to go around, Mr. President.
    The new labor law idea is a bad one. It is rife with risks and confusion, guaranteed misery, entitlement junkies and employment downsizing. The remaining time on Obama's clock simply is not long enough to reverse or correct the implications of this bone-headed and highly deceitful agenda.
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