“I vetoed this bill because of the process that was followed in passing it and because it is an illegal attempt to retroactively deprive restaurant workers of their day in court. Restaurant workers across our state say they went to work under rules that promised them a higher wage than they were paid. The legislature knows this bill is unfair and likely illegal. That’s why they passed it as a strike all amendment in the waning hours of the last day of the legislative session. Had the bill been raised earlier in the session, we could have vetted the proposal fully through the committee process and provided the public an opportunity to be heard. Prior to and since my veto, my staff has attempted to find a compromise that would strike the retroactive and illegal provisions of the bill.
“The proponents of an override point to inaccurate guidance from the previous administration in the form of a 2015 Department of Labor information brochure. The reality is that DOL’s website has had a link to the correct information since June 2015. In any event, DOL is not the party currently pursuing enforcement actions. These are lawsuits being brought by restaurant workers seeking to be made whole for wages they claim they are owed. These workers are entitled to their day in court. We all swear oaths to uphold the state and federal constitutions—and quite frankly this bill does not pass that test. It likely violates workers’ due process rights and other constitutional provisions. I remain willing to find a compromise that makes commonsense changes on a prospective basis, but I stand by my veto of the bill that was passed.”