02.16.17

Democrats Highlight Priorities for Updating Wage and Hour Policies

WASHINGTON – Today the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on “Federal Wage and Hour Policies in the 21st Century.” Committee Democrats believe updating wage and hour policies for the 21st century means raising wages, making more workers eligible for overtime pay, ensuring that workers’ schedules are fair and that they can take a day off when they get sick without losing pay, finally securing equal pay for equal work, and stopping wage theft.

It is my hope that the work we to do together in this Subcommittee will ensure that the rules of our economy help Americans workers and businesses prosper together,” stated Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee.There is simply no need to make the false choice between employer innovation and rules that make our economy fair for everyone. We can have both.

Updating wage and hour laws for the 21st century will raise wages and can help more Americans get good-paying jobs that allow them to buy a house, raise a family, put their kids through college, and save for retirement,” said Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03).

Andrew Stettner, Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation, served as the Democratic witness. He urged the Members to update the nation’s wage and hour laws to ensure that the rules of the economy work for all Americans.

 “In order for tens of millions of additional workers across the country to share in the nation's economic prosperity, they need a boost in the minimum wage and overtime laws, a long-term commitment to strong enforcement of the wage and hour laws, new resources to root out misclassification that regularly cheats them out of wages, and a strong effort to apply the Fair Labor Standards Act to workers in the gig economy and other forms of twenty-first century work,” said Mr. Stettner.

Business representatives, worker advocates, and economists all sent letters urging the Committee to take long overdue steps to update our wage and hours laws for the 21st century by raising the minimum wage, updating the overtime threshold, engaging in robust enforcement of our nation’s wage and hour laws, putting in place fair scheduling protections, giving workers the ability to earn sick leave, and ensuring equal pay for equal work. The letters can be found below.

American Sustainable Business Council Letter

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Letter

Economic Policy Institute Letter

Jobs With Justice Letter

National Employment Law Project Letter

National Partnership for Women & Families Letter

National Women’s Law Center Letter

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