Stop Assaulting and Start Uplifting American Labor Force

Target: Eugene Scalia, Secretary of U.S. Department of Labor

Goal: Protect gig workers and legal immigrants from exploitation, low wages, and safety rollbacks.

In the last few weeks of President Trump’s first, and perhaps only administration, agency leaders are working hard to rush through policies that will cement their controversial legacies while impacting millions of Americans for years to come. A closer look at just one agency, the Department of Labor, highlights these potentially destructive efforts.  One of the cornerstones of employee rights in America is the Fair Labor Standards Act, a law that has been in place for close to a century. A proposed reinterpretation of a provision of this law will disadvantage America’s many gig workers because the newly envisioned rule would classify most of these workers as independent contractors. Therefore, these individuals will be much less likely to receive the benefits and fair wage standards granted to an employee: rights gig workers have long fought for. This department is also targeting legal immigrants who have special skills that could help the country by imposing even more strangling work visa restrictions on these workers.

Even truck drivers, some of the hardest-working people in the country, are not free from this administration’s damaging prioritization of corporate rights over employee rights. An intended easing of safety standards will mean more time behind the wheel and far fewer mandated rest periods for tired, overworked truckers. Although this particular rule is not under the direct control of the Department of Labor, the supposed representative of the country’s laborers should have a decisive say.

Sign the petition below to demand this department live up to its oath to protect the U.S. labor force.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Scalia,

“Two main hallmarks of a good regulation is sound analysis to support the alternatives chosen and extensive public comment to get broader opinion. It is a concern if you are bypassing both of those.” Former Bush White House regulatory official Susan E. Dudley expressed these concerns in relation to the Department of Labor’s rush to enact new controversial policies.

The most noteworthy of these policies affect millions of this nation’s increasingly prominent gig workers and millions more legal immigrants who offer their skills and contributions to the national betterment. These changes come with little scrutiny and a reduction by half of the public comment period granted for the people most affected by these decisions—the public— to offer their input. Further, your silence on the Department of Transportation’s lifting of safeguards for America’s truck drivers is deafening.

In the potential waning days of your leadership, rethink these damaging decisions that only hurt U.S. workers. Stop ramping up roadblocks and instead work for protective policies on behalf of everyday employees.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ed Brown




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