The vast majority of Americans think that overtime laws are good, but they disagree on whether or not workers should be paid for all the time they are at their workplace
Last week President Obama unveiled an overhaul of regulations governing overtime laws. Employers are required to pay time-and-a-half to anyone working more than 40 hours a week, but rules had been becoming increasingly weak.
Many employers avoided overtime pay by designating employees as managers, a loophole that will now be closed. Overtime regulations also only apply to salaried workers earning under a certain amount each week, currently $455, though this will be increased by the Obama administration. In 1975, 65% of salaried workers were legally entitled to overtime pay, compared to only 12% now.
The latest research from YouGov shows that overtime laws, at least, are relatively uncontroversial. The vast majority of Americans back overtime laws for hourly workers (84%) and just under two-thirds support overtime laws for salaried workers (62%).
Opinions do differ, however, on what time should be counted and paid by employers. Most Democrats (58%) and Independents (52%) say that employers should be required to pay workers for all the time they have to be at work, not just for the time they are actually working. Republicans, on the other hand tend to think that pay should be limited to working time (53%) rather than time spent at work (44%).
Full poll results can be found here.