by Amity Shlaes
Originally published: February 24, 2017
"A GOLDEN recommendation" for their second job is what most college grads dream of as they enter the workforce. Their first job, they are certain, will be an 18-month compromise, a pass-through position they take on to build résumés. The second job, the one that matches their plans, is the job they actually seek. But to get to that second post, they need a strong recommendation from an authority in the real world, not a professor. In other words, that golden recommendation from the boss at the initial compromise position.
That elusive golden recommendation became more reachable when, this winter, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit pushed a review of a new Labor Department overtime rule forward on the calendar. The regulation is known as the "Devil Wears Prada" rule, after the 2006 film in which a witchy editor-in-chief at a top fashion magazine terrorizes her new hire, a Northwestern alumna, day and night, wrecking dinners with dad, the celebration of the boyfriend's birthday and, in general, postcollege sanity.
Rising to the defense of the figurative Miss Northwestern, the Labor Department of the Obama Administration sought to raise the ceiling below which time-and-a-half overtime pay is required by Washington. The new level was set at $47,476, from the old $23,660, an expansion affecting millions. Many of those millions are not recent college grads, but many are. The scheduling shift gives the final say to the Trump Labor Department, which has the authority--and likely the inclination--to let this Devil die.