-—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—-
NEW YORK, NY (January 21, 2014) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) along with other major American Muslim organizations urged the U.S. Department of Labor to reassign the issue of Clear Paystubs onto its 2014 regulatory agenda. Below is the letter sent to the Tom Perez, Secretary of Labor.
The Honorable Tom Perez
Secretary of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20210-0001
Dear Secretary Perez:
The undersigned American Muslim organizations urge the U.S. Department of Labor to reassign the issue of Clear Paystubs onto its 2014 regulatory agenda.
In 2010, the Department of Labor’s Spring Regulatory Agenda included the issue of Clear Paystubs. Specifically, the Department’s Wage and Hour Division stated its intention to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on employers’ recordkeeping requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This proposal “would [have] establish[ed] a requirement that employers provide workers with basic information about their employment, including how their pay is calculated.
Regulatory guidance is needed to promote clear transparency requirements for all employers to provide workers with paystubs that outline how they are being paid. Such a regulation is necessary as many American workers paid in cash or check are often provided no record of how many hours they are being compensated for and what deductions are taken.
Often paid “off the books,” these workers are vulnerable to being cheated by employers who take unusual or illegal deductions without any explanations. The government, too, is cheated by unscrupulous employers who do not file payroll taxes and employer payments for insurance.
Having a Clear Paystubs regulation would help ensure that workers regularly paid in cash, by check, or payroll debit cards know what they are being compensated for and what is being legally deducted.
Moreover, we express serious concern over the rising trending of low-wage sector workers being paid with payroll debit cards. We agree with Interfaith Worker Justice’s (IWJ) assessment that these cards shift the burden of payroll costs from employers to workers and that associated card fees and lack of transparence put workers at risk of being cheated of wages. A Clear Paystubs regulation would provide the necessary oversight needed to address this growing problem.
By requiring employers to print clear and transparent paystubs, workers would have a better understanding of how they are being paid and empowered to challenge unethical or illegal payroll practices. A Clear Paystubs regulation would also decrease the possibility of workers being paid unfairly and make it harder for crooked employers to cheat the government of state and federal taxes and insurance payments.
We are ready to mobilize support within the American Muslim community and rally concerned citizens to back a Clear Paystubs regulation. As a community where half of those 18 or older are immigrants seeking greater opportunities for their families in America, we fully appreciate that such a regulation would level the playing field for low-wage workers seeking fair pay without exploitation.
We look forward to distributing your response to our constituencies and allies.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Muslim American Society – Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (MAS-PACE)