It’s not yet Halloween, but employers may have cause to be afraid.
Last week, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) introduced the “Workplace Action for a Growing Economy Act” (“WAGE Act”) to amend the National Labor Relations Act. According to a fact sheet published about the Act, the WAGE Act aims to “strengthen protections for workers who want to organize and promote change through forming a union or other collective action.”
In addition, the fact sheet explains that, if enacted, the WAGE Act would strengthen protections for workers by:
- Tripling the back pay that employers must pay to workers who are fired or retaliated against by their employers, regardless of immigration status.
- Providing workers with a private right of action to bring suit to recover monetary damages and attorneys’ fees in federal district court, just as they can under civil rights laws.
- Providing for federal court injunctions to immediately return fired workers to their jobs.
- Ensuring employers will be jointly responsible for violations affecting workers supplied by another employer.
The WAGE Act would also establish civil penalties up to $50,000 for employers who commit unfair labor practices, impose doubled penalties for repeat violations, expose individual officers and directors to penalties for NLRA violations, and effect other changes to the NLRA.
Additional information regarding the WAGE Act can be found here.
For now, employers must watch and wait.