50,000 signatures reached
To: Republican Members of the House of Representatives
Tell Congressional Republicans: Stand up to federal contractors who steal from their employees
Federal contract workers regularly face “wage theft” perpetrated by their employers, including being forced to work “off the clock” or without overtime pay. Support the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ work to keep lucrative government contracts away from law-breaking federal contractors who steal from their employees.
Why is this important?
No hard-working American should ever have to worry that an employer will deny him or her overtime pay, take money out of his or her paycheck, or engage in other practices known as “wage theft” – especially if that employer is a federal contractor.
Although there are strong labor laws that punish this type of activity, federal contractors are some of the worst offenders when it comes to committing wage theft. A recent report from the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee revealed that 32 percent of the largest Department of Labor penalties for wage theft were levied against federal contractors. Another study found that 21 percent of federal contract workers were not paid overtime and 11 percent have been forced to work “off the clock.”
This summer, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which I co-chair, decided that we would try to help workers and end wage theft. The CPC has offered a simple amendment to federal funding bills that would curb this practice. It simply states that if a federal contractor has a history of engaging in wage theft, he or she will be ineligible for new contracts with the government.
The first time we offered this amendment, we lost – although 10 House Republicans crossed the aisle to join with House Democrats and stand up for low-wage federal workers. The next time we offered the amendment, House Republicans –supported the amendment and it passed unanimously by a “voice vote.”
Two weeks later, we offered the amendment a third time – except this time we demanded that every Member of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, take a public stand and cast a vote for or against wage theft. We won again and this time 25 Republicans crossed party lines to support the amendment. This victory is a big step forward for low wage workers.
The good news is that Washington is starting to wake up when it comes to fighting wage theft. The bad news is that 204 House Republicans still can’t seem to do the right thing.
This month, the Congressional Progressive Caucus will give these 204 House Republicans an opportunity to stand with hard-working federal contract workers, instead of bosses who break the law by underpaying their employees, when we again demand an up or down vote on our amendment.
It’s simple—the federal government shouldn’t do business with corporations that break the law. We need House GOP members to stand up for federal contract workers who have families to feed, parents to look after and basic needs that can’t be met when wages are stolen. Sign my petition to insist that House Republicans support the CPC’s efforts to hold accountable federal contractors who steal from their workers.