Biden’s Workforce Policies – Good for Goodwill?
As we adjust to a change in our governmental leadership, we thought this would be a good time to look at the workforce policies the Biden administration is advocating. These have been taken directly from https://joebiden.com/empowerworkers/. Our purpose is to merely outline what has been promised, not to offer any editorial comment.
The first bullet point on the site is: Check the abuse of corporate power over labor. The steps to support this plan include:
- Hold corporations and executives personally accountable for interfering with organizing efforts and violating other labor laws.
- Aggressively pursue employers who violate labor laws, participate in wage theft, or cheat on their taxes by intentionally misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
- Ensure Federal dollars do not flow to employers who engage in union busting activities, participate in wage theft, or violate labor law.
- Penalize companies that bargain in bad faith.
The second headline is: Encourage and incentivize union organizing and collective bargaining. Theses are the details listed as supporting that portion of the plan:
- Make it easier for workers who choose to unionize to do so.
- Provide a federal guarantee for public sector employees to bargain for better pay and benefits and the working conditions they deserve.
- Ban state laws prohibiting unions from collecting dues or comparable payments from all workers who benefit from union representation that unions are legally obligated to provide.
- Create a cabinet-level working group that will solely focus on promoting union organizing and collective bargaining in the public and private sectors.
- Ensure workers can bargain with the employer that actually holds the power, including franchisors, and ensure those employees are accountable for guaranteeing workplace protections.
- Ensure that workers can exercise their right to strike without fear of reprisal.
- Empower the National Labor Relations Board to fulfill its intended purpose of protecting workers.
- Reinstate and expand protections for federal employees.
- Expand long overdue rights to farmworkers and domestic workers.
- Extend the right to organize and bargain collectively to independent contractors.
The third, and final, section begins as follows: Ensure that all workers are treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve. The supporting points are:
- Increase the federal minimum wage to $15.
- Invest in communities by widely applying and strictly enforcing prevailing wages.
- Stop employers from denying workers overtime pay they’ve earned.
- Ensure workers in the “gig economy” and beyond receive the legal benefits and protections they deserve.
- Eliminate non-compete clauses and no-poaching agreements that hinder the ability of employees to seek higher wages, better benefits, and working conditions by changing employers.
- Put an end to unnecessary occupational licensing requirements.
- Increase workplace safety and health.
- Ensure workers can have their day in court by ending mandatory arbitration clauses imposed by employers on their workers.
- Expand protections for undocumented immigrants who report labor violations.
There is a lot to digest here. We have two questions:
- How will this affect Goodwill of Greater Washington’s workforce development programs?
- What will these proposals look like a year from now?
The answer to both lies in how effective the new administration will be in implementing all, or a portion of, these proposals. Our goal is to keep tabs on this and follow up with future blog posts on this topic.