Pennsylvania Under Federal Investigation

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.”

And via @RoxburyNews, a blog from The Morning Call is now reporting on this as well:

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).

Wilkes-Barre: 570-826-6316

Philly: 215-597-4950

Pittsburgh: 412-395-4996

I hate to say it, but I told you so.  Maybe we should begin asking the legislators if they read my blog?

12 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Under Federal Investigation”

  1. Is it true that certain employees working at the State Capitol are getting paid ? I also heard that no one involved in the budget process will be at the capitol from last night until Tuesday evening. They all went home for a long weekend.

  2. Jimbeam…

    I believe the staffers of the legislature are being paid out of legislature reserves…not the Governor’s budget. That may be who you mean. The guy in Alleghany Ed says may be the next Dem candidate for Governor is making a flap about it. Sharks smelling blood in the water is how I’ve characterized it.

    As to gone home for weekend. Ed’s emissaries (I’d guess Donna Cooper) and a few high level guys are supposedly meeting during the period since the committee announcement was made. Eddie may meet with them sometime this weekend as well. The hope is they will have hammered out an agreement to present to the committee when it is named on Monday and then a fast end can be brought to this. There’s a rule or statute that says 6 days must elapse from the decision to go to committee before the committee is named so it would make sense for them to go home. There’s nothing for them to do and if they stuck around we’d pay per diemss for nothing. Just my take on it.

  3. I received this link in my email today. – Has anyone else heard this about the governor?

    Also: Folks I work in a bank and I am seeing people come in who have done absolutely nothing to help themselves through this. They have not contacted creditors, they are coming to our institution to get 0% loans when we are not a participating institution.

    So many have believed what the media has said about these payday loans. They didn’t think they had anything to worry about. Please be sure to pass on all of the information you can to your co-workers.

    I also saw one customer who got $40 something as his paycheck because he had child support that is auto deducted from his pay. His wife doesn’t work. They too have a small child.

    Another customer got 0 – yep ZERO because of spousal support and child support. People are hurting!

  4. Yes I’ve seen it…but haven’t seen anything that resembles proof or evidence…just that and a couple spinoffs of it.

  5. Here’s a uuuuuhhhh smile? I called my credit union to see if they were giving mortgage deferral since they carry mine and while I’ll make the end of month payments ok by mid-end Aug we’ll be less ok. They don’t. Evidently they either didn’t get Ed’s letter or didn’t care.

    They DO have a personal line of credit I can have. $15000 at 0% while the budget is unsigned and then 3.9%. Well, where do I sign up I am thinking? Then she adds, you DO have to make the payments on the loan while the budget is not signed, however. I was like, “Wait. How do I do this? Make the loan payment with no income coming in” Hmmmm. Their counsel? Take your advances for your bills and groceries. When the payment is due take an advance to make the payment.


  6. You can see an impact in our bank this week between the unemployed people coming in for their cash advances. I saw 1 all week.

    Usually Fridays at the bank are nuts. Yesterday was not. When I service the mac machine on Friday mornings, it is always a significant amount that has been withdrawn through the night. Not yesterday.

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