Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Promises about Workers on The Obameter

Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes

"Will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Fund will have a peer-review selection and award process based on the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund, a state-level initiative that has awarded over $125 million to Michigan businesses with the most innovative proposals to create new products and new jobs in the state."

Double funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program that encourages manufacturing efficiency

"The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with manufacturers across the country to improve efficiency, implement new technology and strengthen company growth. This highly-successful program has engaged in more than 350,000 projects across the country and in 2006 alone, helped create and protect over 50,000 jobs. But despite this success, funding for MEP has been slashed by the Bush administration. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the MEP so its training centers can continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers."

Include environmental and labor standards in trade agreements

"He will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world"

Create a tax credit of $500 for workers

Enact a Making Work Pay tax credit that would equal 6.2 percent of up to $8,100 of earnings (yielding a maximum credit of approximately $500). Indexed for inflation.

Sign the Employee Free Choice Act, making it easier for workers to unionize

"Obama is a cosponsor and strong advocate of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bipartisan effort to make the unionization process more transparent and increase penalties on companies that violate employee rights. He will sign EFCA into law as president."

Forbid companies in bankruptcy from giving executives bonuses

"Protect the jobs and benefits of workers and retirees when corporations file for bankruptcy by telling companies that they cannot issue bonuses for executives during bankruptcy while their workers watch their pensions disappear."

Allow workers to claim more in unpaid wages and benefits in bankruptcy court

"Increase the amount of unpaid wages and benefits workers can claim in bankruptcy court against their employer."

Require full disclosure of company pension investments to employees

"When companies fund their pensions, many do not disclose their investments with the employee's pension dollars. This lack of transparency can make it easier for fund managers to make imprudent or even fraudulent investment decisions. Obama will ensure that all employees who have company pensions receive annual disclosures about their pension fund's investments, including full details about which projects have been invested in, the performance of those investments and appropriate details about probable future investments strategies."

Create a National Health Insurance Exchange

Create a "National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses purchase private health insurance."

Improve recruitment of public health workers

Government "at all levels should lead the effort to develop a national and regional strategy for public health … government must invest in workforce recruitment."

Reinstate executive order to hire an additional 100,000 federal employees with disabilities within five years.

"Obama will reinstate Executive Order No. 13173 which President Clinton issued just before he left office. Executive Order No. 13173 failed to achieve its mandate of hiring an additional 100,000 federal employees with disabilities within five years. Obama will issue this executive order early in his first term and designate a senior White House official to assure that all federal departments and agencies meet the mandate."

Set goals and timetables for implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act

"Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires the federal government and employers who are federal contractors to 'take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.' Yet, affirmative action in employment for adults with disabilities is not enforced with goals and timetables like the affirmative action requirements for people of color and women found in Executive Order No. 11246 and its progeny. As a result, affirmative action under the Rehabilitation Act is largely ineffective. Barack Obama will direct his Secretary of Labor to make changes to the regulations implementing Section 503 so that they more closely resemble those implementing Executive Order No. 11246."

Create a best practices list for private businesses in accommodating workers with disabilities

"As president, Barack Obama will direct his Secretary of Labor, the Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy, and its Job Accommodation Network to bring together employers, employer associations, human resources professionals, disability advocates, service providers, and the labor movement to identify, promote, and disseminate best practices in accommodating workers with disabilities."

Launch educational initiative for employers on tax benefits of hiring employees with disabilities

"The tax code already contains several provisions designed to encourage employers to hire employees with disabilities, including the Disabled Access Tax Credit, a Tax Deduction for Architectural and Transportation Barrier Removal, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Yet, very few employers actually take advantage of these credits. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will launch an aggressive effort to educate employers about these tax benefits so that more employers use them to hire greater numbers of employees with disabilities."

Reduce the threshhold for the Family and Medical Leave Act from companies with 50 employees to companies with 25 employees

"The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees of larger employers (i.e., 50 or more employees) with 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a family member's or their own serious health condition. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will guarantee that millions more workers have access to FMLA leave by reducing the threshold for which employers are covered from companies with 50 or more employees to those with 25 or more."

Provide a $1.5 billion fund to help states launch programs for paid family and medical leave

"As president, Barack Obama and Joe Biden will initiate a 50-state strategy to encourage all of the states to adopt paid-leave systems (as part of the Family and Medical Leave Act). Barack Obama and Joe Biden will provide a $1.5 billion fund to assist states with start-up costs and to help states offset the costs for employees and employers. Obama's Department of Labor will also provide technical information to the states on how to craft paid-leave programs consistent with their local needs."

Require employers to provide seven paid sick days per year

"Require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year – which may be taken on an hourly basis – so that Americans with disabilities can take the time off they need without fear of losing their jobs or a paycheck."

Increase the Veterans Administration budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals

Increase "the VA budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals."

Dedicate more resources to fight employment discrimination against military reservists

Will put "additional resources into enforcement and investigation in order to crack down on employers who are not following the letter and spirit of the law" in regards to military reservists.

Expand the Family Medical Leave Act to include leave for domestic violence or sexual assault

"Expand the purposes for which leave can be taken under the Family Medical Leave Act to include reasons related to domestic violence or sexual assault."