January 7, 2020
Delegate Delaney Stands with Our Workers With Her 2020 Legislative Package
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/7/2020
CONTACT: Denver Supinger, 703-996-9415
(CHANTILLY, VA) - Delegate Karrie Delaney has released an impactful set of bills that puts the workers of the Commonwealth at the center of the legislative conversation. Delegate Delaney has heard the concerns and calls for action from workers in her district and labor advocates across the state and has responded with a comprehensive package, which empowers employees and provides our workers with much-needed protections. Her package includes non-retaliation protections, preventions for wage theft, defining the act of worker misclassification, and preventing wage history from being a criterion of employment.
House Bill 798 is a reintroduction of her non-retaliation bill from the 2019 session. This piece of legislation would allow employees to report illegal actions of their employer without fearing retaliation or termination. Currently, Virginians can witness the companies they work for commit unethical or criminal acts and still be fired if they step forward and report their employer’s wrongdoing.
“We should support and empower Virginians who stand up for the betterment of our society,” said Delaney,“ House Bill 798 provides our workers with a needed layer of protection in our efforts to hold unscrupulous businesses accountable in Virginia.”
Delegate Karrie Delaney is also introducing a Wage Theft Prevention Act (House Bill 800). Her Wage Theft Prevention Act recognizes that there are countless Virginians who have earned wages stolen from them every year. Currently, it is not required for employers to provide their own name, the name of their business, the address of their business, terms of employment and/or terms of pay to their employees. This leaves workers vulnerable and unaware of the conditions of their employment and provides them no recourse to collect stolen wages, for the courts do not have the proper information to summon the employer to court. Delegate Delaney’s bill fills gaps in current Virginia law and ensures that workers have all the appropriate information to collect stolen wages from unlawful employers.
Currently, the Commonwealth of Virginia is losing out on millions of dollars in taxes as a result of worker misclassification, a cause that Delegate Delaney has been championing since her first legislative session. Misclassification of employees is the act by unlawful employers who wrongfully and willfully classify their employers as independent contractors when they should be classified as full-time (W-2) employees. This act of misclassification not only enables the employer to avoid paying income taxes to the state, allowing them to undercut law-abiding businesses, but also bars the employee from life-enhancing benefits such as Social Security and workers’ compensation. Delegate Karrie Delaney’s House Bill 801 finally defines the act of misclassification in Virginia code. Defining the misclassification of employees in the Commonwealth of Virginia clearly identifies how one should classify their employers and provides the state recourse to investigate and penalize employers who fail to follow the law and pay the correct taxes.
Additionally, Delegate Karrie Delaney will be introducing legislation that bars employers from requiring employees to disclose their salary history. The act of inquiring one’s past salary history disempowers the employee, especially those who have taken time away from the workplace to care for a child or aging parent or are changing industry sectors. Additionally, barring the requirement of disclosing wage history also helps end the continuance of racial and gender wage disparity in the workplace. House Bill 802 is a step in the right direction in ensuring that our workers can move throughout their careers and not have past earnings limit their potential for a fair wage.
Delegate Karrie Delaney has been a proud leader in the labor sector and champion for Virginia workers. In the 2020 session, she plans to make our workers a focus of her work and looks forward to passing much-needed protections and changes in the Commonwealth of Virginia.