Feds issue refined overtime pay rules

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Workers earning $23,660 or less annually are guaranteed overtime pay protections under final regulations issued Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor. They also specify that licensed practical nurses and similar professionals would be entitled to overtime pay benefits.

In addition, registered nurses currently eligible for overtime pay likely will remain so in the future, according to Carla Luggiero, senior associate director for federal relations for the American Hospital Association.

Controversy broke out last year when the administration attempted to change overtime eligibility for some health professionals under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Nurses' unions, Democrats and also some Republicans protested the changes at that time, partly because some nurses who perform administrative duties might have been excluded from overtime eligibility.

The American Nurses Association and the American Hospital Association said they were withholding judgment on Tuesday's release while they took time to review it. The rule was set to go into effect in 120 days. For more info on it, go to: http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/fairpay/main.htm.

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