Maine bill to fix overtime will restore the promise of extra pay for extra work

When Mainers work extra hours, they deserve extra pay. The 40-hour workweek has been a pillar of the American economy for decades. It’s still what most of us envision when we think about a “full-time job.”

If the 40-hour workweek is one side of a coin, overtime protection, which provides time-and-a-half pay for hours worked beyond 40, is the critical flip side. Overtime pay buttresses the 40-hour workweek as a norm. It ensures full-time workers can expect a decent work-life balance and will be compensated when that balance is thrown off. But outdated and difficult-to-enforce overtime laws mean many Mainers are stuck with lower wages even if they’re willing or required to work long hours.