Cloture Vote on Kaplan Coming, Senate Dems Raise Supply Chain Concerns

  • August 1, 2017

Some news from Washington that doesn’t involve the White House communications team for a change.  

Senate cloture vote on Kaplan expected tomorrow

The Senate will hold a cloture vote on NLRB nominee Marvin Kaplan tomorrow, a leadership source told POLITICO.

The vote is expected to take place as soon as an hour after the Senate convenes at 10 a.m., the source said. After that, senators will be allowed up to 30 hours of debate before voting on final passage.

Kaplan is currently counsel for the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. He has held jobs on the House Education and the Workforce and Oversight and Government Reform committees, as well as the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management and Standards.

Senate leadership has not scheduled a vote on President Donald Trump’s other NLRB nominee, William Emanuel, meaning it probably will be delayed until after the August recess. The Senate HELP Committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow on Patrick Pizzella, Trump’s deputy labor secretary nominee. A time has not yet been announced.

Senate Democrats urged retailers Monday to use only transportation companies that comply with federal labor law.

In a letter sent to the CEOs of 16 companies, including Target and Walmart, the lawmakers demanded that the corporations ensure that they are “not complicit in the mistreatment of port truck drivers” and that they “are not unwittingly supporting labor abuses in the United States.”

The letter, led by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), came after USA Today published an investigation in June that found “port trucking companies in southern California have spent the past decade forcing drivers to finance their own trucks by taking on debt they could not afford.”

The lawmakers requested that the companies inform them about their steps to “rid worker abuses” from their supply chain. In addition, the lawmakers asked the CEOs whether they plan to cancel contracts with companies that have committed safety and labor violations.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also signed the letter.

Democrats Introduce Wage Theft Legislation

Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation today intended to prevent wage theft.

The bill would increase the penalties for minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping violations; lengthen the amount of time employees may make a wage theft claim to four years from the date of the violation, up from the current two years; and require that employers provide workers with a pay stub on a regular basis. In addition, the bill would allow workers to recover their actual hourly wage, instead of just the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

In a written statement, Sen. Patty Murray said that the bill was “another step towards building an economy that works for all, not just those at the top.” Rep. Rosa DeLauro said that the bill would “strengthen current federal law and empower employees to recover their lost wages.”