WASHINGTON — On Thursday in La Crosse, Wisconsin, President Obama will promote extended overtime protections, which affect 90,000 Minnesota workers, White House officials said.

In a conference call Tuesday with reporters advancing the Midwest trip, White House officials said, currently only salaried workers making less than $23,660 annually are eligible for overtime. However, now workers who earn up to $50,440 annually would be eligible for overtime pay once they surpass 40 hours of work in a week. Meaning once an employee works 40 hours a week they are eligible for one and a half times their hourly wage.

The policy change potentially extends overtime eligibility to nearly 5 million white collar workers. Minnesotans make up two percent of the white collar workers affected by the change.

The president will take this action without consulting Congress, though it has to go through a lengthy comment period first.

Sen. Al Franken said in a statement Tuesday that he applauds the president for “taking this important step to bring broader overtime protections to millions of Americans.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minn., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said in a statement “that in the richest nation on earth, no one working overtime should worry about making ends meet. This new overtime rule is a powerful step towards that goal … We look forward to working with President Obama to continue putting more money in the pockets of America’s working families.”

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