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 long worked to protect the rights of workers, spur job growth through investments in infrastructure and in small businesses to create good-paying jobs, level the playing field for American workers, and expand 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 enforceable 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.

  • 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 hundreds of billions on stock buybacks, they can afford to give their workers a raise. The amendment was voted down on a party line vote.

  • 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.

  • 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 cosponsored the Raise the Wage Act to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. Senator Casey previously 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.

  • 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 strongly supports that ability to workers to earn and use family leave and sick leave. He is an original cosponsor of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, legislation to create a new national program to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for new children or sick family members. Casey is also 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.


  • Casey, Lamb Push For Tax Fairness For Workers

    As millions of working-Americans start to feel the impacts of the GOP's tax scheme, including workers across Pennsylvania and the Nation whose deductions were ripped away, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Conor Lamb (D-PA-17) are reintroducing the Tax Fairness for Workers Act. This measure reinstates the deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses and would make the deduction for union dues above-the-line (available for everyone, even if they don’t itemize deductions). Read More

  • Casey, Colleagues Introduce Legislation To Make Child Care More Affordable

    In Pennsylvania, the average cost of full-time center-based daycare is $11,560 for an infant and $8,712 for a 4-year-old. To help reduce the burden placed on working families, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is joined by 20 of his Democratic colleagues in introducing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Enhancement Act, legislation to make child care accessible and more affordable for working families. Read More

  • Casey Backs $15 Min Wage, Continues Push For Working Families

    Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is announcing his cosponsorship of legislation that aims to give working Americans a fair shot. Specifically, the Raise the Wage Act would raise the federal minimum wage to $15.00 by 2024 and eliminate subminimum wages for young workers and workers with disabilities. Read More

  • Casey Backs Paid Family Leave, Continues Support For Working Pennsylvanians

    Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is announcing his cosponsorship of legislation to ensure paid family and medical leave for workers across the country. Specifically, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would provide workers with the option to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, financed through worker contributions to a trust fund, similar to Social Security. Read More

  • Casey To Bring TSA Officer To State Of The Union As 2nd Trump Shutdown Deadline Approaches

    Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that Monica Hughes of Pittsburgh, PA, an Army reservist and public servant who was impacted by the Trump shutdown, will be his guest to the President's State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 5. This announcement comes following the unprecedented 35 day shutdown that was sparked by the Administration’s recklessness. Like many families across the country, Hughes and her loved ones were held hostage by the President’s shutdown, while she worked without pay for over a month. Read More

  • Casey Works To Ensure Equal Pay For Equal Work

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, alongside a number of his democratic colleagues, reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. Read More

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