The Senate voted 52-47 to guarantee overtime pay to all qualified blue-collar workers, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians and licensed practical nurses, regardless of income. The guarantee, an amendment to corporate tax legislation, is a potential blow to Bush administration regulations, effective in August, that will limit overtime pay to blue-collar workers earning up to $23,660 annually. The House and Senate must vote on the corporate tax bill before the amendment, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), can advance. The Labor Department said its new regulations will strengthen overtime protection for the lowest-wage workers. A department official told a Senate panel that Harkin's proposal would create confusion and potentially jeopardize overtime protection for millions of workers. At deadline, it wasn't known whether the amendment would affect overtime protections for registered nurses. -- by Jeff Tieman
Senate plan would expand guaranteed overtime
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