U.S. Department of Labor investigates PA

    The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating Pennsylvania to see if the state is violating workers rights by withholding their paychecks. The paychecks that went out Friday represented the last of the money the state will pay until the budget impasse is resolved.

    The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating Pennsylvania to see if the state is violating workers rights by withholding their paychecks. The paychecks that went out Friday represented the last of the money the state will pay until the budget impasse is resolved.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090727sbpaycheck.mp3]

    Officials at the Department of Labor say the investigation follows about 1500 complaints from state employees. They say the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act guarantees employees be paid at least minimum wage for the time they’ve worked.

    But Governor Ed Rendell’s spokesman, Chuck Ardo, says the Pennsylvania constitution prohibits the state from issuing paychecks.

    Ardo: The Commonwealth could be fined, but nonetheless, the constitution forbids spending any money that has not been appropriated by the general assembly.

    That’s how the Commonwealth Court ruled in a case last year, but that decision has been appealed to the state Supreme Court.

    Employees are set to receive back pay for time they have worked once a budget is enacted.

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