Raising Wages

Boosting Incomes for Pennsylvania Families

The middle-class is the engine of the American economy.  But over the last several decades, incomes have stagnated for middle-class Americans.  This puts both the middle class and the American economy at risk.  Addressing income growth and helping American families achieve economic security, is one of Senator Casey’s top priorities.  He has a long record of protecting and expanding the rights of workers, spurring job growth through investments in infrastructure and in small businesses to create good-paying jobs, leveling the playing field for American workers and expanding educational opportunities for students and workers.

  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would increase penalties for employers who pay different wages to men and women for equal work.  Senator Casey also voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which closed a loophole to ensure that victims of pay discrimination would have legal recourse.
  • Following the precedent-upending Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Senator Casey cosponsored the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act.  This bill seeks to mitigate the damage done by well-funded special interests to damage unions and the rights of workers to negotiate for better wages and working conditions.  It would affirm that it is the policy of the U.S. to encourage collective bargaining as a mutual benefit for workers and employers, especially among public employees.  The Freedom to Negotiate Act would ensure that public sector workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively. 
  • Senator Casey understands that the American workforce is the most skilled, productive and dedicated workforce in the world.  However, bad trade deals, currency manipulation and the lack of labor and environmental standards in other countries put the American worker at a disadvantage.  Senator Casey has worked to ensure that the playing field is leveled for our workers and has opposed trade deals that depress wages for American workers.
  • Our infrastructure has historically been one of our country’s greatest strengths and has allowed America to be a global leader in imports and exports. Investments in infrastructure have also traditionally created good paying jobs in construction and utilization of new infrastructure.  Our infrastructure is what makes domestic businesses and workers competitive over international companies. However, without a renewed dedication to making smart investments in our nation’s infrastructure, American businesses risk losing their edge and we put future job and economic growth at risk.
  • Senator Casey is working to help small businesses thrive and create good-paying jobs.  In late 2015, Senator Casey secured passage of legislation to allow small businesses to immediately expense up to $500,000 of investments, giving small businesses the certainty they need to invest, grow and create jobs. Absent action the expensing limit would have reverted to $25,000.
  • Congress must continue to focus on job creation and giving workers the skills they need to be successful. That is why Senator Casey supported the reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which will help to build a skilled workforce for today and for the future.  He has also supported robust funding for federal workforce development programs and is working in a bipartisan manner with Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) to reauthorize and improve workforce training for high school and community college students through the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
  • Senator Casey has voted for minimum wage increases at the federal level and supported the ability of state and local governments to increase the minimum wage beyond the federal level.  Senator Casey previously voted to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 and prior to that, Senator Casey cosponsored and voted for the 2007 effort that increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to the current $7.25.
  • To restore overtime protections for middle class workers, Senator Casey previously cosponsored the Restoring Overtime Pay for Working Americans Act in June, 2014.  In April, 2014, Senator Casey joined his colleagues in sending a letter to the President calling for a strong proposal to strengthen overtime protections for American workers.  On June 29, 2015, President Obama directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to update the rule that determines which workers are eligible for overtime pay.   Senator Casey joined his colleagues in February, 2016 in a letter calling on DOL to finalize the rule and send it to OMB.  In May, 2016 the final overtime rule was announced that increases the overtime threshold from $23,660 to $47,476.  He has spoken out against efforts to roll back these rules.
  • Senator Casey cosponsored the Working Families Tax Relief Act, which would help families with children and low-income individuals. Parts of these bills were passed in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act in December, 2015, including permanent improvements the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit.
  • During markup of the 2017 tax bill, Senator Casey offered an amendment to prevent companies that outsource jobs to low wage counties from taking advantage of reduced tax rates. The amendment would have increased taxes on companies who outsource jobs to take advantage of low wage workers. The amendment was voted down on a party line vote in committee.
  • During debate on the 2017 tax bill, Senator Casey offered an amendment on the Senate floor which would have ensured profitable corporations increase wages for their workers at the same rate they increase payouts to their executives and stockholders.  If companies can afford to give their executives massive raises and spend billions on stock buybacks, they can afford to give their workers a raise. The amendment was voted down on a party line vote.
  • Senator Casey has stood up to protect the right to organize and bargain collectively and has defended essential workplace protections.  Senator Casey supported the modernized and streamlined election rules finalized in December, 2014 by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that will help workers across the country exercise their right to organize.  The rule, which he supported in an April, 2014 letter to the NLRB, will update election rules and remove unnecessary obstacles and roadblocks that will benefit employees and employers.  The strength of our country’s middle class and the ability of workers to freely organize and bargain for wages is directly linked. This balanced rule will strengthen the economy and give middle class families in Pennsylvania and across the country more security.
  • Senator Casey has highlighted the problem of payroll fraud following his November, 2013 subcommittee hearing and the introduction of his legislation to protect workers from being misclassified as independent contractors.  The Payroll Fraud Protection Act would prevent companies from cheating their employees out of fair compensation by deliberately misclassifying them, thereby ensuring access to safeguards like fair labor standards, health and safety protections, and unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits.  It also prohibits employers from using misclassification to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
  • The Flexibility for Working Families Act, introduced by Senator Casey, would guarantee employees the right to request flexible work arrangements in terms of hours, schedules or work location while also maintaining the protections of the 40-hour workweek. The bill provides employers with flexibility by encouraging them to review these requests, propose changes, and even deny them if they are not considered in the best interest of their business.
  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of Senator Murray’s Healthy Families Act which would allow workers to earn paid sick days (1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked), up to 7 days a year.

Latest

  • Casey to GOP: Stop the Assault on Unions

    Though the Republican tax bill was sold to the public as a "middle-class miracle," there are a number of provisions that undermine working families and make it harder for Pennsylvanians to make ends meet. Among these provisions was the suspension of tax deductions for union dues and other common employee expenses. In response to the GOP tax scheme's deliberate attack on working Americans and union members, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), introduced The Tax Fairness for Workers Act. This legislation will not only reinstate the deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses, but will make the deduction for union dues above-the-line, making it available to everyone, not just those who itemize. Read More


  • Casey Continues Push to End Pay Disparity for Tobyhanna Employees

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) reintroduced legislation that would help put an end to the persistent wage disparity at Tobyhanna Army Depot. As it stands now, white collar employees, served by the General Schedule (GS), are included in a more generous locality pay system than that of their blue collar counterparts, who are served by the Federal Wage System (FWS). Casey's Locality Pay Equity Act would help put an end to this disparity by requiring OPM to treat all employees equally. Read More


  • Casey, Colleagues Expose GOP Tax Scam in New Report

    Although Washington Republicans continue to tout their tax plan as good for the middle class, American workers are still getting laid off, while the wealthy and major corporate executives are pocketing billions of dollars through share buybacks. To call out this scam, U.S. Senator Bob Casey, alongside his colleagues U.S Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), unveiled a new report detailing the extent of this corporate windfall. Read More


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