Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Employees: Tell Your Representatives To Vote No On These Terrible Laws

Remember last year's viral campaign ad? The one that said, "Wake the f*#k up?" America woke up, sort of, and then went right back to sleep. So I'm telling everyone who is an employee, and everyone who depends on an employee for their food, clothing and shelter, to wake back up.

Workers are under attack in a major way right now. There are terrible laws pending that will gut the few protections employees have in America. Need I say which party is proposing them? Probably not. Here are some laws that you should tell your legislators to vote no on. Tell them today. I'm serious.

Anti-overtime law: It sounds so sweet. So appealing. Don't be fooled. It's a trick. The Working Families Flexibility Act is as anti-working-family as you can get.  The folks trying to push this one say that it will allow employees to "voluntarily" choose to take a comp day instead of being paid time and a half for overtime. These are the same folks that say forcing employees to sign arbitration agreements and jury trial waivers in consideration of continued employment constitutes "voluntary" agreement. Employers will shove "Voluntary Comp Time Agreements" in front of all new employees faster than you can say, "in the pocket of corporate lobbyists." If you want to give up all your overtime, then stay asleep. Otherwise, wake up!

Anti-prevailing wage laws: In Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, Michigan and Missouri, bills are pending that would gut prevailing wage laws. These are laws that require government contractors to pay a higher wage than the state or federal minimum wage in areas with higher costs of living. The bill in Florida would result in a 40% pay cut for some workers. Can you afford a 40% pay cut. No? Then wake up!

Right to work laws: This sounds like justice personified. Everyone should have the right to work, right? Wrong. It's one of those  Orwellian names that means the opposite of what it says. It doesn't change the at-will doctrine that exists in 49 states, saying you can be fired for any reason, including your boss's bad mood. Instead, it is intended to gut the unions. Legislation is pending in Congress and in many states. It's bad stuff. Read my article on this topic here.

Anti-paid sick leave: Efforts to deny local governments the right to pass ordinances requiring paid sick leave have popped up all over. A corporate lobbying group is behind it. Watch for these laws in your state, and call and write your legislators to vote no if your state is being targeted.

Pro wage-theft: I wrote a couple weeks ago about the efforts to legalize wage theft in Florida. Here's my post on this.

How idiotic are these laws? Well, they certainly aren't pro-family, are they? I wonder who will buy all the products and visit the travel destinations of the corporations who support anti-employee laws once American employees are bankrupted. I fear we may find out soon enough if we don't stand up and fight while we can.

These are just a few of the many anti-worker laws that have proliferated this year so far. I bet you can think of some more. If you hear of legislation that is pending in your state or in Congress that Americans need to wake up over, let me know in the comments section and I'll be glad to do my part to spread the word.

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.