House Democrats Praise Biden Proposals to Restore Wage Theft Protections for U.S. Workers
Labor Department proposals reverse Trump-era rules that would cost workers billions in lost wages every year
WASHINGTON – More than 75 House Democrats wrote in support of the Department of Labor’s proposals to withdraw two Trump-era rules that strip workers of critical protections from wage theft. The Independent Contractor Rule and the Joint Employment Rule would cost workers billions every year if they went into effect.
The Independent Contractor Rule narrowed the Department’s interpretation of who is considered an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)- thereby narrowing who is eligible for certain protections, such as minimum wage and overtime. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the rule would rob workers of more than $3 billion every year.
The Joint Employment Rule narrowed the Department’s interpretation of joint employment liability, limiting who an employee can hold accountable for wage theft. The rule went into effect in March 2020 but was invalidated by a federal court later that year. The Economic Policy Institute projects that the rule would cost workers more than $1 billion every year.
In the letters, the Members highlight the positive impact that the Biden Administration’s proposals will have on millions of workers and their families. The Members also describe the benefits to law-abiding businesses - which are put at a disadvantage by competitors that achieve cost savings by avoiding compliance with wage and hour protections.
To read the comment letter on the proposed Independent Contractor Rule, click here.
To read the comment letter on the proposed Joint Employment Rule, click here.
Contact: Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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