Within three hours of taking the oath of office at the start of his second term on Tuesday, Attorney General Josh Shapiro was back with another lawsuit against the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump.
This time, Shapiro and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with seven other attorneys general, filed a lawsuit to try to stop the U.S. Department of Labor rule that removes the limit on the amount of tipped work a worker can do You can run with tips and still get only the minimum wage of $ 2.13 per hour at the federal level and $ 2.83 per hour in Pennsylvania.
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The 30 year rule, which is being removed, limits the amount of tipped work that a tipped worker can do to 20% of their working hours, known as the “80/20 rule”. The new rule removes this upper limit, among other things.
“This new rule from the US Department of Labor is unjustifiable and would result in tipped workers doing more work for less wages amid a global pandemic,” Shapiro said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “Businesses and employers are in trouble and need real relief during this pandemic, but it cannot get out of their employees’ pockets. My office will continue to fight for workers in Pennsylvania and across the country to earn fair wages for a fair day at work. “
This is the second lawsuit Shapiro and other attorneys general have filed over a change in US Department of Labor rules. The last time was a rule designed to make it easier for employers to evade liability for violations of workers’ rights, according to the Attorney General. This rule has been repudiated.
Since taking office four years ago, Shapiro has sued the Trump administration several times, most recently in litigation before and after the general election.
After being sworn in for the second time by former Attorney General and now Allegheny County Judge Bruce Beemer in a private ceremony surrounded by his family on Tuesday, Shapiro said, “Four years ago I was elected your Attorney General to make the pledge fulfill great agency to work for justice and to take up the great battles against the most powerful interests for each of us. … The work goes on – it has to – because as we have seen last year, there is still a long way to go. “
In his remarks, Shapiro addressed the inequalities exposed by COVID-19 and the racial inequalities and political tensions that are “robbing us of a safer, more equitable and prosperous country.” And he spoke of the great struggles which his office waged against powerful interests during his first term in office.
“We did not back off when the Catholic Church covered up decades of abuse. We didn’t give in when the two largest health giants in western Pennsylvania risked coverage for 1.9 million people over a contract dispute. We didn’t give in when drug companies tried to wash their hands off their role in creating the opioid crisis, ”Shapiro said.
“We did not withdraw from the attacks on your right to vote, and we secured and counted your vote – whoever you voted for. You deserve this. No matter where you come from, what you look like, who you love, or who you pray or don’t pray to, you deserve a team that will run through a wall to protect you. We have and will. ”
Jan Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.