Democrats in the Iowa Senate have passed legislation that would force businesses to get written authorization for any deduction to agreed-upon wages. The bill is designed to protect employees against retaliation in wage disputes, too. Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, railed against Republicans in the senate for opposing the bill.
“We don’t want to talk about increasing people’s wages in this chamber with the minimum wage law, then why can’t we get agreement on paying people what they got coming to them?” Dotzler asked.
The bill, which passed the Senate Tuesday, now goes to the House Labor Committee for consideration. Republican Representative Greg Forristall of Macedonia — the committee’s chairman — said the bill isn’t the right answer, but he’s sympathetic to the plight of low-wage workers who aren’t paid what they’re owed.
“This whole issue has been preying on me for the last year because these people are defenseless,” Foristall said. “We need to find some way to help them.”
Last year Forristall helped double the budget for the state agency that investigates allegations of “wage theft.” But Foristall said this year’s bill from Senate Democrats penalizes all businesses, not just those who are shorting their workers’ paychecks and the bill will not pass the Republican-led House.