The Democratic National Committee faces a class-action lawsuit in Philadelphia federal court for allegedly paying a sub-minimum wage and failing to pay overtime to Hillary Clinton campaign operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The lawsuit names the Democratic National Committee, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, and five other state party organizations as defendants.
The South Jersey-based attorney for the plaintiffs, about 50 Hillary Clinton field organizers across the country, suggested that the DNC which supports the Fight for $15 (i.e., a national $15 minimum hourly wage rate) failed to live up to its principles in this instance.
“The 2016 Democratic platform pushed for a $15-per-hour minimum wage, a nearly $8 increase from the current minimum, and promised to defend an Obama-era regulation forcing employers to pay a higher rate to employees for working more than 40 hours,” the Washington Free Beacon recalled.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Justin Swidler claims that the Clinton workers were logging as much as 90 hours a week as the campaign wound down but only received $3000 a month from the DNC on a flat-rate basis, “which isn’t even minimum wage for some of the hours that they were working,” he told CBS Philadelphia. “He says the lawsuit seeks ‘fair pay for fair work,’ and holding the Democratic Party to the very ideals that it embraces,” CBS added.
As also alluded to above, to make matters worse perhaps, padthe attorney noted that “These workers were out there in a campaign that was promising $15 an hour minimum wage, and expanding the overtime rights of workers.”
The Democratic National Convention Host Committee reportedpaidout bonuses from unspent money to some field workers including about $300,000 to a man who helped organize the Philadelphia event, but no cash reached the workers who subsequently filed the class-action lawsuit. According to Swidler, Democrats claimed that they lacked the funds to pay overtime.
“Democrats in charge of the DNC Host Committee, however, have taken a very libertarian approach to the matter, claiming that because the operatives signed a contract guaranteeing them only $3,000 per month, that’s what they should have expected,” HeatStreet noted.
“Other activists who have worked on behalf of the higher minimum wage movement have made similar complaints. At a rally last year in Richmond, Va., the Service Employees International Union was protested by its own field organizers. They also said they had been denied the equivalent of a $15-an-hour wage, a claim the union did not dispute. The SEIU has been one of the main bankrollers of the $15 minimum wage movement, having spent $14 million in 2016 alone to promote the wage,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Back in 2014, a progressive Seattle group which supported the $15 an hour minimum wage enacted there and advocated for a $20 minimum wage sought to hire a web developer at $13 an hour.
The DNC also is a defendant in separate class-action lawsuit in Florida brought by Bernie Sanders supporters who claim that party insiders rigged the primary to enable Hillary Clinton to secure the nomination.
In October 2015, Sen. Sanders himself was accused of paying interns only $12 per hour even though he had introduced legislation raising the federal minimum wage incrementally to $15 an hour.
Parenthetically, a former McDonald’s executive warned last year that a $15 minimum wage will ultimately prove self-defeating in his industry in that it will eliminate thousands of entry-level fast-food jobs as employers increasingly implement self-service touchscreen kiosks to reduce headcount and payroll.
Are you surprised that Clinton campaign workers have found it necessary to go to court against the Democratic National Committee over alleged minimum wage violations and unpaid overtime?
[Featured Image by M. Spencer Green/AP Images]