According to a recent story on WGAL, as well as anecdotal statements made by commenters, the US Department of Labor has launched an investigation into Pennsylvania’s refusal to pay its employees.
When a caller presses 2, the following message plays: “If you are a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employee, please know that the U.S. Department of Labor wage and hour division has initiated an investigation of the Commonwealth to ensure that your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act are protected. There is no need for you to file an individual complaint. All affected employees will be covered by our investigation into this matter.”
As you’ve probably heard by now, the Rendell administration has been telling all and sundry that a section of the state Constitution barring expenditures without an approved state budget trumps a federal law that’s supposed to make sure workers are not subjected to unfair labor practices.
UPDATE: The Department of Labor has formally requested payroll records from 6/20/09 through 7/3/09. You can find details and OA’s response at Capitol Ideas. Thanks to John Micek for reporting on this.
Keep hammering, peeps. We’ve broken the outer shell, but we still have a long way to go. Contact your legislators and governor and ask why a budget has not yet been passed. Ask how they plan to explain to taxpayers why we all have to pay liquidated damages because our legislature can’t do its job. And, most importantly, ask if they think we’ll remember this when the 2010 elections roll around.
If you haven’t already contacted the US Department of Labor, do so as soon as possible (just not during working hours).