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  • Backgrounder posted April 23, 2007 by James Sherk, Paul Kersey How the Employee Free Choice Act Takes Away Workers' Rights

    Revised and updated March 4, 2009 Does a ballot cast in private or a card signed in public better reveal a worker’s true preference about whether to join a union? A private vote is the obvious answer, but organized labor has nonetheless made the misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, H.R. 800) its highest legislative priority. Recently, unions…

  • Executive Summary posted April 23, 2007 by James Sherk, Paul Kersey Executive Summary: How the Employee Free Choice Act Takes Away Workers' Rights

    Revised and updated March 4, 2009 Organized Labor has made the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) its top legislative priority. The act would replace the current system of secret-ballot organizing elections with card checks, in which workers publicly sign union cards to organize and join a union. It would also impose binding arbitration for the…

  • WebMemo posted March 5, 2007 by Paul Kersey, James Sherk Binding Arbitration for Unions Endangers Competitiveness andInnovation

    While it is widely known that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, H.R. 800) would strip workers of their right to vote in private on joining a union, the bill contains an equally harmful provision that has attracted much less attention. EFCA would allow unions to send negotiations on their first contract with an employer to binding arbitration after 90 days. This…

  • WebMemo posted March 5, 2007 by Paul Kersey, James Sherk Binding Arbitration: A Bad Deal for Workers

    Under the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, H.R. 800), if a union and management cannot agree to terms on the first contract after a union is recognized, either side could send the dispute into binding arbitration. This means that both workers and management must accept what is, at bottom, an arbitrator's educated guess at what a fair and prudent contract might be.…

  • WebMemo posted March 1, 2007 by Paul Kersey, James Sherk Interest Arbitration: Risky for Unions and Employers

    A steady decline in union membership has led union organizers and sympathetic politicians to introduce "labor reform" legislation designed to make it easier for unions to gain representation rights over more workers without becoming more accountable to those workers. The main labor reform bill before Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800), contains two…

  • WebMemo posted December 21, 2004 by Paul Kersey Medical Leave Regulations Should Reflect Intent Behind FMLA

    The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides that covered workers are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for newly born or adopted children, tend to ailing relatives, or recuperate from poor health or injuries. Following a worker's FMLA leave, his or her employer must restore the worker to his or her old job or a new position with…

  • WebMemo posted December 3, 2004 by Paul Kersey After Overtime, Now What?

    One of the most important stories lost in the last-minute rush to pass a budget last month was what Congress did not do: In spite of constant pressure from organized labor, Congress did not overturn new overtime regulations that took effect last August. Various proposals to block the new rules, which cover the so-called white-collar exemptions from the Fair Labor…

  • Executive Memorandum posted November 12, 2004 by Paul Kersey Congress Should Protect Secret-Ballot Union Representation Elections

    Unions exist to allow workers to present a united front to their employers and to protect the economic interests of the workers they represent. For this reason, labor law explicitly gives workers the right to support or not to support a union, prohibits "company unions," and insists that a union demonstrate it has the support of a majority of workers in…

  • Commentary posted September 6, 2004 by Paul Kersey Don't Worry Over Overtime Changes

    This Labor Day finds many workers in a state of anxiety over the overtime rules that became law on Aug. 23. The worry is understandable, but unnecessary. Contrary to reports from many self-described worker advocates, the new overtime regulations are unlikely to cost many employees their overtime pay. Yet misperceptions abound. The day the new rules took effect,…

  • Backgrounder posted August 16, 2004 by Paul Kersey Modernizing Overtime Regulations to Benefit Employers and Employees

    Much controversy surrounds the U.S. Department of Labor's decision to update regulations governing "white-collar" exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Labor union officials have interpreted the new regulations as the end of overtime pay for millions of workers. In reality, however, relatively few workers are likely to lose overtime pay under the new…

  • Commentary posted July 22, 2004 by Paul Kersey A Minimum-Wage Hike Wouldn't Add Up

    Sen. John Kerry counts himself among those who have concluded that millions of low-wage, mostly young or unskilled workers deserve a raise. A pretty hefty one, too: He's called for an increase in the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7 per hour. The sentiments behind this may be admirable, but the economics are faulty. Compensation for unskilled, low-wage…

  • WebMemo posted July 14, 2004 by Paul Kersey Closer Examination, Fewer Changes: A Rebuttal of EPI's White CollarExemption Analysis

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Department of Labor (DOL) has the responsibility to set the rules that determine which workers qualify as executive, administrative, and professional employees who are exempted from the Act and its requirement of time-and-a-half overtime pay. On April 23, 2004, DOL issued a final regulation updating these definitions. The…

  • WebMemo posted July 14, 2004 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., Paul Kersey New Overtime Regulations: Modernizing Outdated Rules or Eroding Worker Protections?

    The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has released a report[1] on the final overtime rules published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) last April[2]. EPI has argued before that, if adopted, these overtime regulations would mean "lower pay [and] longer hours for millions of workers"[3]. These charges are simply untrue. The new regulation will, in fact, improve…

  • Backgrounder posted July 6, 2004 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., Paul Kersey In the Dark on Job Training: Federal Job-Training Programs Have a Record of Failure

    There are two plans before Congress (S. 1627 and H.R. 1261) to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA)--the primary legislation for employment and training programs at the U.S. Department of Labor. Although the House bill does include some worthwhile changes that might make the program more cost-effective, neither bill addresses the failure of…

  • WebMemo posted May 5, 2004 by Paul Kersey Ready to Compete: The Link Between Productivity, Jobs, and Wages

    Nearly lost in the debate over job creation has been the surge of productivity that has taken place over the last two years. Americans workers are producing more goods per hour of work and boosting their own incomes in the process. Increased productivity also means that Americans are in a better position to gain-not lose-in the…