Here's a note from a state worker that asks us an interesting question: Is Rendell violating the federal Minimum Wage Act (which goes up again this week) by failing to pay state workers?
It sure would be interesting (and expensive) if employees start filing complaints!
I have not yet seen any information regarding this anywhere from any news network, but am a loyal follower of the Commonwealth Foundation and wanted to share this with you. All I ask is that you keep my name out of the story as I am a state worker and work within an agency whose executives are close to the Governor.
Basically - the non-timely payment of hours worked by state employees could violate the federal Minimum Wage Act. This means that as of this Friday, July 24, 2009, which happens to be the next pay cycle for some state employees, their paychecks will show that they have worked 75 hours in the past two weeks but will receive $0, which if it is determined that this is a violation of the Federal Minimum Wage Act, the state could face a $1,000 fine for every employee who submits a substantiated claim. (At least that is how I interpreted the Minimum Wage Act wording which is found on the Federal Department of Labor's website.)
I have talked with a regional Federal Department of Labor representative and she had recommended that state employees who do not receive a pay check on the day that their pay is normally deposited, or receives a check which does not compensate them for the hours worked should call her office and file a complaint. All employees will need is their current pay statement, as well as some basic personal information to submit the complaint at which point the federal government will open an investigation against the employer, which in this case is the state of Pennsylvania. She did not say that it is a definite violation but she also did not say that it was not. She was supportive of our submitting the claim and having it investigated by their office.
Fortunately my wife and I were approved for loans to cover our missed pay but not all employees were approved for these loans and will have no income. I feel that the reporting of this potential violation may help to nudge the legislators and governor into coming to a solution a little quicker.