Backgrounder

Ensuring Workers Get PAID Act

Bill sponsors: S. 3074, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)
H.R. 5743, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

The Ensuring Workers Get PAID Act would reinstate and make permanent the Department of Labor’s Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which allowed employers to self-audit, report, and correct their potential violations of federal overtime and minimum wage laws. PAID was started as a pilot program by the Trump administration and ended in January 2021 by the Biden administration.

PAID encouraged employers to perform audits for potential violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), relating to overtime pay and minimum wage, and self-report potential violations to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. If self-reported and corrected by paying its employees the sum of back pay owed, employers were then protected from litigation and penalties for their potential FLSA violations.

In a statement in 2020, then-Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said, “PAID is a common-sense program that helps employers comply with the law while ensuring workers get the money they’ve earned.”  At that time, the Trump administration reported that through the end of Fiscal Year 2019 the PAID program resulted in “more than four times the back wages of traditional full investigations.”

The bill’s sponsors, Sen. Braun (R-IN) and Rep. Stefanik (R-NY) argue the PAID program “resulted in employees receiving 100 percent of the back wages they are owed in a timelier manner, as opposed to traditional DOL investigations that take more time, are more costly, and reach fewer employers.”

Bill Status:  The Ensuring Workers Get PAID Act was introduced in the Senate and House on October 26, 2021and referred to the Senate and House labor committees.

Click here to download the backgrounder. 

Additional Resources

PRESS RELEASE: Braun and Stefanik Introduce Legislation to Ensure Workers Get Paid
October 26, 2021, Braun.Senate.gov

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