Money Minute: Overtime Pay Next Big Fight; Amazon Eyes Music Streaming

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Overtime pay is the next battleground in President Barack Obama's fight for greater economic equality.

The president plans to use his executive powers to force employers to pay overtime to millions of workers who are classified as "executives or professionals." The New York Times reports this includes workers ranging from computer techs to fast food managers. The new regulations being proposed could significantly expand the number of people eligible for overtime pay by changing the definition of what it means to be a supervisor or executive.

Apple (AAPL) still controls 80 percent of the market for downloaded music,
but music fans are buying fewer songs than they used to, partly because of the growing popularity of streaming services such as Pandora Media (P) and Spotify. So to firm up its iTunes business, Apple is reportedly pressuring music companies to offer it exclusive rights for a short period of time on some new releases.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon.com (AMZN) is looking to get into the music streaming business. But so far, it's running into resistance from some music companies. Amazon's plan would reportedly limit how long you could listen to a song. The hope is that a tease will be good enough for listeners to buy it from Amazon.

Google is also looking at a new venture. According to Crain's New York Business, Google (GOOG) is planning to open its first retail store. It would be based not far from Wall Street, in the SoHo section of New York -- right down the street from an Apple store.

Here on Wall Street yesterday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 67 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 27 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 9 points.

Finally, spring break is in full swing for many college students, and Priceline (PCLN) is out with a list of the most popular destinations. Topping that list is Las Vegas, followed by New Orleans, Denver, New York and San Diego. Cancun is the top international destination.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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SPQR

Overtime is a waste when there are no jobs that have overtime anymore. Overtime is because there is too much work and a shortage in the labor force to handle the work load.Since we went global millions of manufacturing jobs are gone. Millions of new immigrants and millions of illegals have taken the jobs for lower pay. The governement wants MORE immigrants !~ Write your congressman today

March 12 2014 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jj2301

There you go! Make jobs that are easily offshored even *more* expensive to keep in the USA. That will help.

How's the amnesty for illegal aliens coming along? Overtime pay, the proposed doubling of H1Bs and amnesty for illegal aliens ought to be just about enough to strangle off what's left of the middle class.

March 12 2014 at 2:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jj2301's comment
SPQR

I think you said it all !

March 12 2014 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
republicanslostagain

GOP attacks Obama bus, but Bush did same
August 17, 2011|By Rick Pearson | Clout Street

President Barack Obama walks to his bus after visiting the Whiteside County Fair in Morrison, Illinois on Wednesday. Obama has been on a Midwest bus trip through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

President Barack Obama walks to his bus after visiting the Whiteside County Fair in Morrison, Illinois on Wednesday. Obama has been on a Midwest bus trip through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. (Jason Reed, Reuters)

As President Barack Obama traveled to the first of two “town hall” stops in western Illinois today, top national and state Republicans criticized his campaign-style visit and criticized his use of a taxpayer-funded Canadian-manufactured bus as part of a jobs tour.

But no mention was made by Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus or Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady that a re-election seeking President George W. Bush used a bus from the same manufacturer, Quebec-based Prevost, for a spring 2004 “Yes, America Can” campaign tour through the Midwest.

March 12 2014 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
republicanslostagain

Bush got his new buses from Canada when he ran in 2004.

March 12 2014 at 12:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
rwikert

Nearly every day, Mr. Obama announces something new to stir the pot. And then, after a few days, you don't hear of it again. Our President has the attention span of a two year old.

March 12 2014 at 12:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
republicanslostagain

Bush's overtime cuts kick in

By Elizabeth Schulte | September 3, 2004 | Page 11

WASHINGTON--Overtime for millions of workers in the U.S. vanished into thin air August 23, when the Bush administration's new rules on overtime went into effect. The new rules, which the administration has worked hard to push through for a year, drastically cut the number of jobs that are eligible for overtime pay.

Initially, the White House tried to sell the overtime rip-off as a needed adjustment to outdated rules in the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), claiming that the new rules would make more workers eligible for overtime pay after 40 hours work. The new rules do raise the income cap for workers to be eligible for overtime from the antiquated figure of $155 a week (or $8,060 a year) to $455 a week ($23,660 a year).

But $23,660 is still an incredibly low amount, and, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the number of employees eligible will decrease over time because it isn't indexed for inflation. "An administration that cared about low-wage workers would have raised the threshold to at least keep pace with inflation since 1975, in other words, to at least $28,075," wrote the EPI's Ross Eisenbrey.

.But this is just part of the Bush administration's overtime disaster. According to the new rules, millions of workers' jobs could be reclassified, thus becoming ineligible for overtime. For instance, workers in the food industry who spend most of their time doing manual work but who sometimes instruct others could be reclassified as "team leaders" or "executives" and lose their overtime.

Also, special training could make a worker ineligible. So if a worker "attained advanced knowledge through a combination of intellectual instruction and work experience," they could lose their overtime rights. If an employee received training while they were in military service, for example, these new skills could cost them eligibility for overtime pay.

According to the EPI, as many as 6 million workers will lose overtime eligibility. Already, American workers work more hours than workers in just about any other industrialized country.

The average two-income family works 660 more hours--16 weeks--than they did in 1979 to make ends meet. Now the federal government wants them to work for free. Unfortunately, labor leaders' strategy to fight this attack has largely been to rely on pro-labor Democrats to block the legislation.

Hundreds of thousands of workers and supporters signed online petitions or wrote letters to the White House about overtime, but little effort was made to mobilize those workers on the streets in protest. We will have to begin organizing an active opposition to these attacks on workers--an opposition so loud the Republicans and Democrats can't ignore it.

March 12 2014 at 11:50 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
whiteoak

these companys will have a hard time surviving when they have to pay for the free hours they are demanding now,,,,,almost any Manager is expected to work 60= hrs a weeek

March 12 2014 at 11:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
camromn802

hi

March 12 2014 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stevie Diffy

Cast words of stone all you want to but I like the things Obama is trying to do. He is focused on the people that cant get the things some can. And he is focused on making things right. Hvae you ever been without access to quality health insurance? Have you ever been unable to get a job that paid more than minimum wage? Have you ever been a manager at a business that paid what "they" called chinese overtime? Have you ever been a manager trying to keep your business running good and then after some careful figuring you find you actually made less than minimum wage? To people that have gone through this there is a tear welling up in the corner of the eye. Go ahead and criticize it. We know you are actually the owners of the business when you do. Or, you didnt grow up poor.

March 12 2014 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

OBAMA, PLEASE! Please work on important issues like 15 million illegal immigrants in this country skewing the vote and turning this country into Mexico.

March 12 2014 at 10:23 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply