They’re really looking out for the little guy
Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was firmly directed at blue-collar workers across the country. He pledged to raise their wages and create new jobs by implementing policies that put America first. While all of that sounded real nice to a lot of people, in reality, the young Trump administration has already repealed a law that protects workers from wage theft. Now, the administration looks to sign a bill that will make it harder for employees to get paid for overtime.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a change to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would allow private-sector employers to offer comp time instead of time and a half pay for overtime work. Worker rights activists have criticized the law saying it allows employers to cheat employees out of pay by giving them time off instead. All but six Republican members voted for the bill, while it received zero votes from House Democrats. If the bill passes the Senate, it’s expected to be signed into law by President Trump.
Despite its critics, Republican lawmakers say the bill gives workers more freedom. “I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than giving them more control over their time so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families,” Washington state Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a press conference. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren called the bill a “disgrace” and Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute call it a “total fraud.” “[The bill] doesn’t give any new rights to workers that they don’t have now,” Eisenbrey said in a statement. “But it does give new rights to employers, including the right to not pay overtime in the week that it’s worked.”