December 8, 2014

Administration Cracking Down on Wage Laws

Here’s a set of laws the Obama administration will enforce: minimum wage laws. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez told an audience at the progressive think tank Center for American Progress that Barack Obama wants a higher minimum wage. And while he hasn’t quite found the executive power to go ahead and change the laws himself, Obama has made enforcing minimum wage laws a priority because it’s part of his plan (for better or worse) to improve the economy. “But the law is only as effective as the political will of those enforcing it,” Perez said. “The president and his Labor Department have mustered that will from day one. Under this administration, we are back in the enforcement business, putting more cops on the beat and giving them more resources to protect working families who bear the greatest burden when labor standards are violated.” Perez said since Obama took office, the Wage and Hour Division has taken $1 billion and given it to employees they feel are disenfranchised – not exactly at-will employment where both sides can terminate the agreement anytime. This speech comes as federal contractors – for example, workers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo – petition Obama to use an executive order to make their minimum wage higher than $10.10 an hour. Here’s a novel idea: Pay workers the salary they deserve, and not the one they ask government to wrest for them.

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