This week, the WAGE Act – Workplace Action for a Growing Economy – was introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) "The system is broken, and needs to be fixed," they said. The bill will strengthen protections for working people who want to join unions and establish real penalties and consequences for corporations that violate working people's rights.
The bill would:
- Triple the amount of back pay that employers must pay to workers who are fired or retaliated against by employers.
- Give workers the right to bring lawsuits to recover monetary damages and attorneys' fees.
- Allow for federal court injunctions to immediately return fired workers to their jobs.
- Establish civil penalties up to $50,000 for employers that commit unfair labor practices and doubled penalties for repeat violations, bringing the NLRA in line with other workplace laws.
- Give the NLRB authority to impose penalties on officers and directors of employer violators.
- Allow the Board to issue a bargaining order on finding that an employer prevented a fair election, when a majority of employees signed authorization cards within the previous 12 months.
- Set a 30-day time limit for employers to challenge an NLRB decision.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, "The economy is a set of rules that for too long has been rigged against working people. The WAGE Act is about changing these rules."