Pennsylvania Democrats Failed to Pay for Overtime, Class Says

By Lowell Neumann Nickey

PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Saying she usually worked 80- or 90-hour weeks to canvass and register voters for the 2016 General Election, a Pennsylvania woman claims in a federal complaint that the Democratic National Committee and its state-based subsidiary failed to pay overtime wages.

Bethany Katz, of Rosemont, filed the lawsuit on Nov. 9 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, hoping to represent a class of “organizers” – campaign workers who helped the Democrats get out the vote by making phone class, soliciting volunteers and assisting with voter registration.

Katz “regularly worked more than 12 hour per day … 7 days per work week,” the complaint states.

She says she was paid a salary of $3,000 per month and received no extra compensation for any hours that exceeded 40 hours.

Rather than hiring additional staff, the DNC improperly considered organizers as exempt from overtime wages, the complaint states.

But Katz the job duties of organizers “did not relate to the management or general business operations of the PDC and/or DNC,” so she is eligible for overtime pay.

Demanding damages and recovery of lost wages, the class alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.

The class is represented by Justin Swidler of Swartz Swidler of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Neither the DNC nor PDC deputy press secretary Brandon Cwalina returned phone calls seeking comment.