Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.-21) and Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) today introduced the Ensuring Workers Get PAID Act of 2023 to ensure America’s workers receive the wages they are owed and help employers comply with the law.
In 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) pilot program to provide an efficient method for employers to proactively rectify inadvertent overtime and minimum wage violations. This resulted in employees receiving 100 percent of the back wages they were owed in a more timely manner. But the Biden Administration falsely claimed it deprived workers of their rights and abruptly ended the PAID program in January 2021. Stefanik and Braun are working to reinstate and codify the PAID program, so this proven tool will stay in practice to support both employers and employees.
“The PAID program has been successful in helping employers correct inadvertent wage and hour violations on their own to ensure employees are getting paid the wages they have earned. The Ensuring Workers Get PAID Act will bring this program back so workers receive their full wages in a timely manner and business owners are able to keep their businesses in compliance with the law,” said Senator Mike Braun.
“Our economy runs on America’s workers and job creators,” Stefanik said. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation that will ensure workers receive the wages they’ve earned while helping employers quickly identify and correct any inadvertent payroll mistakes. While the Biden Administration has doubled down on their approach of targeting job creators, I’m working to reinstate a program with a proven track record of supporting our workforce and helping well-intentioned employers comply with the law.”
The Ensuring Workers Get PAID Act would specifically:
- Help more workers receive the wages they earned when employers make mistakes,
- Encourage employers to self-audit pay practices to correct mistakes and quickly deliver any back wages owed to employees,
- Allow employees to receive any unpaid minimum wage or overtime compensation faster and without litigation, and
- Protect employee rights and leave the decision to resolve identified violations in the hands of each employee.
“NFIB thanks Representative Stefanik and Senator Braun for introducing this important legislation. Most small business owners do not have dedicated staff to handle compliance issues and must manage paperwork themselves. This commonsense legislation will allow small business owners to identify mistakes and correct them before facing harsh penalties,” Kevin Kuhlman – Vice President, Federal Government Relations, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“American workers are tired of an overreaching federal bureaucracy that limits their employment opportunities through costly regulations and heavy-handed enforcement. Senator Braun’s and Congresswoman Stefanik’s Ensuring Workers Get PAID Act is a commonsense solution that will help workers receive their earned compensation in a timely and efficient manner, while preventing employers that are trying to comply with the complex web federal regulations from being attacked by Biden’s Department of Labor.” said Ryan Walker, Vice President of Government Relations, Heritage Action.
“Franchise business owners often handle their own sales, marketing, technology, accounting and HR – among the many other responsibilities of running their own business. The PAID Act empowers small businesses who realize they made a payroll mistake to get their employees money they are owed quickly and without bureaucracy. IFA urges Congress to pass this good government bill, which is welcome news for responsible employers,” said Michael Layman, Senior Vice President of International Franchise Association (IFA).
“The PAID program, while it existed, was an efficient method for employers to conduct payroll self-audits and voluntarily self-report any potential violations of notoriously complex wage and hour regulations. Any errors could be quickly rectified, thus resolving claims and improving compliance. Under the program, employees received 100 percent of the back wages they were owed in a timely manner. This legislation would make the PAID program permanent, ensuring that this option remains in place to support those employers who are willing to make good faith efforts to address regulatory compliance errors,” said Edwin Egee, Vice President, Government Relations and Workforce Development, National Retail Federation.
The PAID program has a proven track record of success for workers, employers, and taxpayers. According to a DOL report between April 2018 and September 2019:
- The average back wages paid to employees per case for PAID cases were more than four times the average back wages paid to employees per traditional investigation,
- The average back wages paid to employees per enforcement hour for PAID cases were more than 10 times greater than the average back wages paid to employees per enforcement hour for traditional investigations, and
- Self-audits through the PAID program averaged 19 hours per case for Wage and Hour investigators as compared to 41 hours per traditional compliance action.
Stefanik and Braun were joined by Representatives Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Jim Baird (R-Ind.), Pat Fallon (R-Texas), Chuck Edwards (R-N.C.), and Tracey Mann (R-Kan.) in introducing this legislation.
National Retail Federation, National Federation of Independent Business, International Franchise Association, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, HR Policy Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute for the American Worker, Americans for Tax Reform, Open Competition Center, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributers have endorsed this legislation.
View the full bill text here.