It is ironic that when overtime first was established in the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, it was meant to encourage companies to hire new workers rather than work existing employees extra hours. Rising benefit costs have all but obliterated any obstacle that time-and-a-half pay might once have posed to working overtime. Indeed, overtime worked by U.S. and Canadian autoworkers in 1998 saved an estimated $550 million in labor costs compared to what it would have cost to hire additional ...

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