WAGE Act Research Paper

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ISSUES What is the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (“WAGE”) Act and why should Congress pass this legislation? BRIEF ANSWER Currently, the remedies available under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) are purely remedial, and do not adequately protect the rights of workers, and “[a]s a result, a culture of near impunity has taken shape in much of U.S. labor law . . . labor law enforcement often fails to deter unlawful conduct. When the law is applied, enervating delays and weak remedies invited continued violations.” The WAGE Act would amend the NLRA to address these inadequate remedies by providing for greater remedies for workers, punitive damages, and civil fines among other things. The WAGE Act was introduced to both…show more content…
The Act itself recognizes the inefficiency of the current NLRA remedies, “[t]he current remedies are inadequate to deter employers from violating the National Labor Relations Act.” First, the Act provides that for employers who commit 8(a)(3) and 8(a)(4) ULPs that “results in the discharge of an employee or other serious economic loss to an employees,” the Board, in addition to back pay, may allow for liquidated damages up to double the amount of the back pay, “without any reduction (including any reduction based on the employee’s interim earnings or failure to earn interim earnings).” Further, the Act solidifies the posting requirement in addition to requiring the employer to inform all new employees of the information within the notice, and for violations of the Board’s posting order, the Board would have the power to levy a civil penalty against the employer up for $500 for each…show more content…
Firstly, by creating punitive remedies and civil fines, the Act would make it costlier for employers to violate the NLRA and change the economics of bargaining versus not bargaining with employees. Secondly, the injunction power and the private right of action address the issues of employers delaying proceedings and thereby harming workers further and allows workers to become interested in pursing their own grievances. Additionally, by providing workers with double liquidated damages for discharge and other serious economic harm, the Act addresses other economic losses not covered by the Act, and gives more incentive for workers to pursue actions against employers violating the laws. This would also largely put a stop to courts limiting the remedies provided for by the

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