By Sahid Fawaz

The battle for the forty hour workweek and overtime was by millions of workers over many decades.

Now one state has rolled back the clock on its workers.

The Des Moines Register reports:

"Iowa has revoked overtime eligibility for about 2,800 state workers, a move critics say could cripple government services if employees leave for the private sector and better jobs.

In all,167 job classifications, including nurses, public defenders and social workers, can now be required to work more than 40 hours a week without additional pay or comp time.

And for 12,800 state workers who remain eligible for overtime, the state has altered how it calculates overtime in ways that reduce their pay and the circumstances when employees qualify for it. For example, the hours that count toward overtime must be those actually worked in a week. Before, sick or vacation days counted toward the calculation.

The state estimates the changes will save $5 million a year.

But critics say the moves unfairly change the rules for state workers and threaten the state's ability to recruit and retain employees. Some state workers say some of their peers have already decided they have had enough.

'We see people leaving or quitting, which causes more workload and overtime for us,' said Courtney Supino, a registered nurse at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville who sometimes works 50 to 64 hours a week.

Before the new rules began in July, Supino was paid 1½ times her hourly salary for overtime. Now, many other workers in state government receive no additional pay past 40 hours, no matter how long they work.

However, Supino is paid her regular hourly wage when she clocks more than 40, an exception made for some nurses."

Read the rest of the story at the Des Moines Register here.

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