DNC chair Perez repeats falsehood about President Trump Following his election on Saturday as the Democrats’ new party chairman over Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), told host Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that “Donald Trump wants to eliminate overtime pay for people.”
While Trump has expressed support for a rollback of a regulation originating in the Obama administration that expanded the number of persons eligible for overtime pay, he has not spoken about eliminating overtime. Also on “Meet the Press,” Perez said that "he nominates someone to head the Labor Department who wants to gut overtime pay." Perez was referring to Andrew Puzder, who criticized an overtime rule proposed by the Obama administration. In the Wall Street Journal, Puzder wrote in 2014, that he opposed "rewarding time spent rather than time well spent."
When asked in August 2016 by Circa -- an online news service -- about which regulations he would like to eliminate, Trump said, "We have to address the issues of over-taxation and over-regulation and the lack of access to credit markets to get our small business owners thriving again. Rolling back the overtime regulation is just one example of the many regulations that need to be addressed to do that."
Later, a Trump-Pence campaign memo said, “Labor issues like minimum wage, overtime rules, and union organizing all take their toll. It seems to many Small Business Owners out here in ‘flyover land’ that the insiders in DC have it in for them. And they probably do. They tell you what you have to pay, set your work rules, mandate benefits and make it impossible to get a fair organizational vote.”
While most employees are eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay for working in excess of 40 hours a week, white-collar workers are excepted. Employees who earn more than $455 per week, be paid salary in administrative, executive or professional position do not qualify for overtime pay. In 2016, the Obama administration issued a rule that reduced the number of workers affected by the so-called "white-collar" exemption.
Under the proposal, they would be eligible for overtime pay if they earn less than $47,500 a year (up from $26,660). Under former Labor Secretary Perez, the department asserted that 4.2 million workers would become eligible to earn overtime. Not pleased with the proposed rule, state governments and businesses challenged it. As a result, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of Texas sided with them on November 22, 2016, and granted a nationwide injunction. The Trump administration may decide to defend the Obama-era rule, or kill it.
As for Perez, besides his false claim about Trump, said, that Democrats erred when they spent too much time criticizing Trump and not spending enough time offering their progressive economic message. "We stand for good wages. We stand for Social Security. We stand for retirement security. We brought this nation Medicare," Perez said of Democrats. "The Republicans are trying to voucherize Medicare and privatize Social Security."