Swartz Creek woman takes push for overtime reform to Washington D.C.

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SWARTZ CREEK (WJRT) - (05/29/15) - During her years as a manager at a Dollar General in Flint, Dawn Hughey oftentimes felt overworked and underpaid.

"When I took the job, they hired me, telling me 44 hours a week, varied schedule. Very soon after I started working, that went to 60, 70 hours. I was working 70 hours a week. Open to close, every day in my store," Hughey said.

Because her salary range at the time was $37,000, she was not eligible for paid overtime. She got a big shock when recovering from an injury, she returned to work and was given a pink slip.

"I was let go from my last salary manager position. I got injured on the job and they terminated me. Three days in, I was let go for lack of productivity," Hughey said.

Upset about what happened, she knew she had to do something. Not just for her, but for thousands of others across the country in her situation.

"You're taking it home, you're stressed. And you're not getting the proper sleep that you need. And you're still broke," Hughey said.

Shortly after her story was shared by the Huffington Post, Hughey was contacted by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and the Economic Policy Institute.

"The EPI office contacted me to make the arrangements for me to go to Washington, to do this video interview. This is an order that will pay all white collar salary workers, working over 40 hours a week, making less than $51,000 eligible for time and a half pay," Hughey said.

Hughey's case eventually got settled with Dollar General, but she says she'll fight this to the end for others facing this same problem all across the country.

"I want to go back, pay it forward. Even though it's not going to help me any longer, it's going to help millions of people behind me," she said.

Hughey says she'll return to Washington for the ceremony when President Obama signs the executive order in either the Rose Garden or the Labor Department.

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