Equitable Growth responds to the Biden-Harris administration’s new worker protection rules

New increased compensation thresholds for overtime eligibility and ban on noncompete agreements will protect millions of U.S. workers and help rebalance power in the U.S. labor market

CONTACT: Katie Wilcoxson, kwilcoxson@equitablegrowth.org

WASHINGTON – The Biden-Harris administration yesterday announced two new worker protection rules: an expansion in overtime compensation eligibility and a ban on noncompete agreements. The two new rules mark a notable step forward to strengthen worker power in the United States.

The new overtime protection rule from the U.S. Department of Labor will make nearly 4 million additional salaried workers eligible for time-and-a-half wages for each hour worked beyond a 40-hour workweek. Key provisions include:

  • Effective July 1, 2024, the threshold at which bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees are exempt from overtime pay will increase from $35,568 to $43,888, and will increase again to $58,656 on January 1, 2025.
  • As of January 1, 2025, the threshold for highly compensated employees who only need to perform one of the duties of executive, administrative, or professional workers to be considered exempt will increase to $151,164, up from the current $107,432.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor will be required to adjust the salary threshold every 3 years to account for updated wage data as of July 1, 2027.

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission voted to ban noncompete agreements for all U.S. workers. These agreements are estimated to prevent 18 percent of the workforce from working for competitors or starting a competing business to previous employers. The rule will also require companies to notify most current and past employees that existing noncompete agreements will not be enforced. The Federal Trade Commission received more than 26,000 public comments in the months leading up to the vote, including a comment letter from Equitable Growth in April 2023.

Following is a statement on these new rules by Equitable Growth’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Janelle Jones:

I applaud the Biden-Harris administration for implementing these long overdue protections for U.S. workers. For the past 40 years, pro-business and anti-worker policies have weakened critical labor market institutions that promote worker power. By expanding overtime thresholds and banning noncompete agreements, the Biden-Harris administration is taking two important steps forward to help workers share in the high profits they create and the very economic growth they drive.

The robust policy response to the pandemic recession built a persistently tight labor market that has helped increased worker power, but we know from economic evidence that our work is not yet done. Policymakers must also strengthen enforcement of existing worker protections—such as the National Labor Relations Board’s use of Section 10(j) injunctions—and crack down on penalties for companies that skirt labor laws. In order to build a better economic future, we need a strong labor movement to decrease income inequality and foster growth that is broadly shared.


The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a nonprofit research and grantmaking organization dedicated to advancing evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth. For more information, see www.equitablegrowth.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @equitablegrowth.

April 24, 2024


Connect with us!

Explore the Equitable Growth network of experts around the country and get answers to today's most pressing questions!

Get in Touch