November 30, 2023 – Members of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus, including Senator Vincent Hughes, Senator John Kane, Senator Christine Tartaglione, and Senator Lindsey Williams, issued a joint statement in response to the PA Supreme Court’s opinion that supports PennDOT’s jurisdiction to enforce the Prevailing Wage Act and their authority to disqualify G.O. Hawbaker Inc. from state roadwork contracts.

The four Senators are sponsors of Senate Bill 987, legislation that would require employers to notify workers about the illegal practice of wage theft, while also helping to protect workers who report it from retaliation.

“When our commonwealth goes into business with private organizations, Pennsylvanians deserve to know companies we contract with are the best of the best and operate themselves completely above board. We applaud the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for holding G. O. Hawbaker accountable for stealing money from employees. And we support PennDOT’s efforts to disqualify G. O. Hawbaker from future state projects.

Wage theft is a morally and financially abhorrent practice. Any employer found misappropriating employee pay and benefits should be forced to make their employees whole, as G.O. Hawbreaker was, and held to a different standard moving forward. These companies should not simply be allowed to resume business as usual after they exhibit such malicious intent and lack of respect for employees’ time and work.

Workers deserve the support and protections that have been affirmed by both the PA Supreme Court and PennDOT. Moving Senate Bill 987 and other Senate Democratic proposals to combat wage theft (like Senate Bill 46, Senate Bill 47, and Senate Bill 577), would be another tremendous step forward for workers in Pennsylvania.

We hope all companies take note of our fierce commitment to workers and the wages they are justly owed.”