PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 3, 2020) – Stronger workplace health and safety protections, national paid family leave, a higher federal minimum wage, organizing rights, and other policies critical to workers and their families hinge on the outcome of today’s presidential election. Workplace experts in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations are available for interview about these and other issues.
Susan Schurman, distinguished professor in Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, is an expert on OSHA and workplace health and safety.
Schurman said, “If Biden wins, we can expect him to quickly nominate a Secretary of Labor who will restore regulatory and enforcement powers to protect worker health and safety. For example, OSHA has the power to issue a 'temporary emergency standard' during public health emergencies. This has not been done for COVID-19. Instead, the Trump Labor Department issued 'advisory guidelines,' which are not enforceable. Beyond the pandemic, a Biden Labor Department would once again make enforcing labor standards and worker safety a national priority."
Yana Rodgers, professor and faculty director of the Rutgers Center for Women and Work, is an expert on economic policies that affect women and working families.
Rodgers said, “A Biden-Harris victory would ensure the passage of long-awaited national legislation to better support working families, especially paid parental leave and paid sick leave. More states are passing such laws and most countries around the world have them. It's about time for the U.S. to catch up and implement laws at the federal level that recognize and value the care work that American employees do at home. The Biden-Harris campaign is also pledging support for a $15 federal minimum wage, which would enhance the economic security of low-wage workers who are disproportionately women and people of color."
Rebecca Kolins Givan, associate professor in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, is an expert on unions and worker organizing.
Givan said, “If a Biden administration is able to pass the PRO Act, even with likely opposition in the Senate, it will make labor law stronger and more enforceable by fining employers who interfere with their employees’ right to unionize. Bosses could no longer mandate that unionizing workers attend anti-union meetings, and employers would have to disclose the payments they are making to anti-union consultants. If the whole Biden platform is implemented, decades of policies making it harder for workers to unionize will start to roll back.”
Todd Vachon, faculty coordinator of the Rutgers Labor Education Action Research Network (LEARN), is an expert on labor and social movements.
Vachon said, “Under the current administration, the National Labor Relations Board has systematically chipped away at workers’ rights to form unions and engage in collective bargaining with employers. One after another, they’ve issued a series of decisions aimed at weakening or overturning worker protections. A new administration would alter the composition of the board and presumably return its focus to protecting, rather than obliterating, the rights of workers.”
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The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) is the world’s leading source of expertise on managing and representing workers, designing effective organizations, and building strong employment relationships.