By a near party-line vote, the House yesterday approved a bill, pushed by Republican leadership, that if it ever became law, would mean many workers would work more hours for less pay. By a 223-204 vote, the House passed the so-called Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406).
Republicans in Congress have renewed their decades-old attack on the 40-hour workweek. Once again, they are pushing so-called “comp time” legislation that would allow employers to stop giving workers any extra pay for overtime work.
Current and former employees of Flat Rate Movers and Mystique clothing stores received good news yesterday. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced these 400 workers will receive restitution funds for unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations. The 306 current and former employees of Flat Rate Movers, a multistate moving and storage company with headquarters in New York City, are being paid $1.13 million. Approximately 100 employees of Mystique in New York City have also begun receiving restitution as part of a $950,000 settlement.
Not only are corporations sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash and refusing to hire workers, now it appears employers who are making fewer workers do even more aren’t paying their overtime wages. The number of overtime wage theft complaints, filed by workers in the first half of this year, matches last year’s total filed under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a new report.
This is a cross-post from Regs Talk, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) blog. Catherine Ruckelshaus is the legal co-director of NELP.
Big drug companies’ salespeople don’t usually inspire much sympathy for being overworked or exploited. But last week’s Supreme Court decision in Christopher v. GlaxoSmithKlinewas a reminder that even pharmaceutical sales representatives, who brought a case for working 60-odd hours a week without being paid overtime, can face unfair working conditions that need to be checked.
This week marks the 74th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which established a minimum wage floor, outlawed some forms of child labor and discouraged overly long workweeks by requiring premium pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. By paying time-and-a-half of one’s regular hourly wage for overtime, the policy is intended not only to compensate workers for long hours but also to promote work sharing or spreading by employers, who can hire additional workers for the extra hours needed. Especially in tough economic times, it’s a practice that is not only fair but makes good economic sense.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) today introduced the Rebuild America Act. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the bill would "achieve shared prosperity by putting America back to work, rebuilding our infrastructure, repairing our safety net and insisting that shared sacrifice start at the top—with Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans."
There are lots of new features and information on our revamped website, just click around. But we’ve refreshed some old favorites, including the popular and frequently visited Your Rights at Work. It is also available in Spanish here.