07/11/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/11/2019 14:00
WASHINGTON, DC (July 11, 2019) - Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today reintroduced the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act, comprehensive legislation to crack down on employers who unfairly withhold wages from their employees. This bill would give workers the right to receive full compensation for all of the work they perform, as well as the right to receive regular paystubs and final paychecks in a timely manner. It would also provide workers with improved tools to recover their stolen wages in court and make assistance available to build community partnerships that enhance the enforcement of and improve compliance with wage and hour laws.
'The single biggest economic challenge of our time is that people are in jobs that do not pay them enough to live on. People are struggling. And across the country, countless workers are putting in long hours and working for an honest day's pay only to have their employers cheat them out of their hard-earned wages. That is inexcusable,' said Congresswoman DeLauro. 'The Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act is comprehensive legislation that will strengthen current federal law and empower employees to recover their lost wages. Whether it is compensation for a day's work, or overtime, employees should be paid what they earn. This legislation puts workers first while helping our economy grow.'
'All around the country, working families are struggling to be economically secure and that challenge is only exacerbated when employers are able to take advantage of their workers and cheat them out of their hard-earned pay,' said Senator Murray. 'Even worse, wage theft particularly impacts workers with fewer resources to fight back, including women, low-wage workers, immigrants, and workers of color. I'm proud to introduce this legislation to ensure workers are being paid for their work, and I'm going to keep fighting to strengthen our economy by making sure it works for everyone.'
As Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, DeLauro held one of her first subcommittee hearings on wage theft-bringing in experts to discuss the issue. The House-passed Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill increased funding the Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division WHD by $69 million, which will help add 500 new inspectors for a total of approximately 1,300. WHD's mission is to look out for working people and make sure they are receiving their wages, yet it has been shortchanged over the last few decades. As a result, the number of cases investigated by WHD decreased by 63% between 1980 and 2015. The Economic Policy Institute estimates up to $50 billion as the total cost of wage theft each year; WHD was only able to recover $308 million in 2018.
Text of the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act can be found HERE.
Fact sheet on the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act can be found HERE and below:
The Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act
Today, across the country, many people are putting in long hours on the job and working hard for an honest day's pay, only to have their employers cheat them out of their wages. While the vast majority of employers do the right thing and treat workers fairly, too many others force their workers to work off the clock, refuse to pay workers the minimum wage, deny workers overtime pay even after they work more than 40 hours a week, steal workers' tips, or knowingly misclassify workers to avoid paying fair wages.
The Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act is comprehensive legislation to combat wage theft in America. This bill will strengthen fundamental protections to allow workers to get the money they have earned through hard work and it will crack down on the corporations that subject workers to these abuses. Taking these steps will help ensure our country can work for all Americans, not just the wealthiest few, so our economy grows from the middle out, not the top down.
The bill would achieve the following: