As the Ranking Minority Member on the Labor Committee of the State Senate, Senator Jose Peralta has made creating good jobs and better working conditions for the New York working class a top priority.
As America’s middle class continues to shrink, Senator Peralta authored the Wage Theft Prevention Act to protect New York workers from unscrupulous employers who steal their paychecks by paying them less than the minimum wage and making them work off the clock six or seven days a week. Senator Peralta was an early supporter of the Fight $15 Movement, a successful crusade that raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour in New York City by the end of 2018. At the end of this year, the minimum wage would raise to $11. For workers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester, the $15 would be phased in by 2021. In the rest of the state, the minimum wage would be increased to $12.50 by the end of 2020.
Another crucial victory for the working families of our state in the 2016 State Budget is Paid Family Leave. Senator Peralta was at the forefront of this social battle. The program will be phased-in beginning in 2018. The benefits will be 50% of an employee’s average weekly salary, limited at 50% of the statewide average weekly salary. The program will be completely in place by 2021, when benefits will be at 67% of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped at 67% of the statewide average weekly wage.
Jose Peralta was also instrumental in promoting job creation and job protection initiatives. He played a key role in passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, legislation that extended basic employee protections, among others, to housekeepers, cooks, home care aids, nannies, companions to the disabled and elderly. He has also demanded fair pay and benefits to restaurant, carwashes and retail stores workers.
Senator Peralta sponsored legislation maintaining a higher tax bracket for millionaires while fighting for middle class tax cuts. Senator Peralta promoted landmark projects to increase access for minorities and women to state contracts and credits as part of the Minority and Women- Owned Business Enterprise reform (MWBE) after decades of blatant underrepresentation. Now, one of Jose Peralta’s objectives is to expand MWBE’s reach and provide tax break for companies that do business with registered MWBEs.
Jose Peralta continues the fight to pass stronger laws to protect the working men and women of New York State. He is pushing the state legislature to approve legislation that would ensure workers who have been permanently or partially disabled for on the job injuries will not lose their benefits without a fair hearing and prior notice.
In addition, Senator Peralta is trying to expand retraining initiatives and provide low-wage workers access to these programs by extending unemployment benefits while they upgrade their job-market skills.