Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in Law360, in “House Panel Examines FLSA's Racial Impact on Workers,” by Max Kutner. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
U.S. lawmakers on Monday questioned witnesses about the impact of federal labor law on people of color working as farmworkers, domestic workers and tipped workers, as Congress considers legislation that would extend protections to people in those job categories. …
But another witness, Paul DeCamp of employer-side firm Epstein Becker Green, told the panel that the three bills would hurt small businesses at a time when they are already struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Now is not the time to make things even more difficult for these businesses to keep their doors open," DeCamp said.
The Raise the Wage Act, or H.R. 603, proposes to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25 an hour. DeCamp cited Congressional Budget Office findings from February that the increase could reduce the workforce by 1.4 million people, especially young and less educated workers.
Restaurants would close and farmers would have to either decrease workers' hours or charge more for their products to make up for higher labor costs, according to DeCamp.
"This would be devastating for the workers who need these wages the most," he told the lawmakers.
DeCamp had similar criticisms for the other two bills. He said that under the Fairness for Farm Workers Act, or H.R. 1080, which would require premium overtime pay for farmworkers, "most farmers would end up seeing a dramatic increase in labor costs, leading to higher food prices for consumers."
And when it came to the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act, or H.R. 3760, which would repeal the FLSA minimum wage exemption for domestic workers, DeCamp argued that the legislation was likely unconstitutional because it sought to regulate employment in private residences.