(Harrisburg) On Wednesday, September 5, 2018, the House Labor and Industry Committee chaired by Representative Rob Kauffman, stacked the deck against the working people of Pennsylvania by excluding workers and their representatives from the Public Hearing on the proposed minimum wage/overtime regulation. Only representatives from the PA Department of Labor and Industry, Secretary W. Gerard Oleksiak and Deputy Secretary for Safety and Labor-Management Relations Jennifer Berrier, were permitted to give testimony to represent the interests of Pennsylvania workers. Conversely, six employer representatives were given the opportunity to publicly weigh in on the impact of adjusting the overtime regulation.
This decision goes against the principle of basic fairness in our public discourse.
Updating the overtime eligibility under the Executive, Administrative and Professional salaried worker exemptions would affect wages for an estimated 465,000 workers across our Commonwealth. Too many salaried workers are misclassified and denied the wages that they rightfully earn. Throughout the public comment period, which ended on August 22, Pennsylvania’s support was clearly in favor of the regulation change, 558-337.
The officers of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, have issued the following joint statement:
“The efforts to silence Pennsylvania workers will not go unnoticed. Chairman Kauffman and the extreme right-wing majority have decided to crowd out advocates for the working class, overtly favoring one side of the conversation. This is an abuse of power, placing politics over the interests of Pennsylvanians. If the House Labor and Industry Committee was serious about learning and engaging on this important issue, then they would cease the political promotion of an agenda that continues to rig the system against workers.”