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Americans favor idea of increased overtime eligibility

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Overtime eligibility
Wages in America   A change announced by the U.S. Department of Labor

Americans agree with the idea of expanding the number of workers eligible for overtime pay, a change recently announced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The change in overtime rules to be put in place by the Department of Labor raises the maximum annual salary at which employers are required to pay workers for overtime from $23,660 to $47,476.

The expansion of overtime eligibility has been championed by both remaining Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. At this point, the American public's initial reaction to the idea is quite positive.

Americans also agree with the idea of raising the minimum wage, as they generally have in the more than 70 years Gallup has tested it using different formats and different dollar amounts.

The specific proposal tested in the current research is to raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour by the year 2020, agreed to by 56% of Americans.

Both Sanders and Clinton have supported the idea of raising the minimum wage, with Sanders endorsing the specific proposal tested here. Donald Trump's position on the minimum wage has been characterized as shifting, although he has recently implied that the minimum wage does need to be increased.

These measures of the American public's reaction to proposed changes affecting workers were tested in Gallup research conducted April 21-24 and May 24-27 of this year, and are part of Gallup's ongoing assessment of the ways in which Americans react to proposals made by presidential candidates.

The research measures initial reactions to shorthand versions of proposals made by presidential candidates in speeches or in debates. Most policy changes are, in reality, complex, and the public's reactions could change if proposals became a matter of continuing public debate.

A majority of Americans also favor workplace proposals that would require employers to provide seven days of paid sick leave, two weeks of paid vacation and at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

Both Clinton and Sanders support these types of proposals, aimed at improving life for the nation's workers. Trump has not addressed the proposals.

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