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Reps Introduce Common Sense Wage Theft Protections for Workers that the GOP Will Surely Fight

Keith Ellison (D-MN), well-known workers’ rights advocate.An amendment to the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act which would disqualify any corporation that violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or commits wage theft from certain federal contracts, has been introduced. The amendment, a potential win for workers, was brought forth by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).  

In a statement, CPC co-chairs Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota said:

“The House of Representatives stood up for federal contract workers today, protecting them from wage theft and ensuring the federal government will lead the way to fairer labor standards for all Americans. No working American should ever worry that her employer might steal a part of her paycheck, especially if she works for a contractor paid by the federal government.

Touching on the broad nature of wage theft and its affect on workers across a wide spectrum of industries, the CPC added:

“Sometimes employers ask workers to show up 30 minutes before their shift starts, while others pay workers with debit cards that charge fees for every use. It doesn’t matter which form it takes—wage theft is wrong and it needs to stop.

We’re glad our Republican colleagues joined the Progressive Caucus in this step to protect Americans working for federal contractors.”

The amendment is similar to a recently passed Wage Theft Ordinance in Houston, but on a much wider scale. At the heart of both laws is the idea that public works contracts should only be awarded to those who follow the guidelines of the FLSA.

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