Issue Brief posted April 17, 2014
Paycheck Fairness Act Would Reduce Pay and Flexibility in the Workplace
In the name of protecting women from discrimination, the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) would allow employees to sue businesses that pay different workers different wages—even if those differences have nothing to do with the employees’ sex. These lawsuits can be brought for unlimited damages, giving a windfall to trial lawyers.
Any financial benefits they reap, however,…
Issue Brief posted March 13, 2014
Expand Employee Participation in the Workplace
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits most employee-participation programs, such as the proposed works council program in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Workers must choose between a traditional union and no formal representation at all.
Congress should modify the NLRA to allow workers to participate in works councils and employee involvement programs. This would…
Issue Brief posted January 28, 2014
Labor Unions: Stagnant Membership Shows Need for Labor Law Modernization
Union density changed little in 2013. Overall density remained at last year’s post–World War II low of 11.3 percent. Just one in 15 private-sector workers holds a union card, and half of all union members now work in government.
Unions have had little success selling traditional collective bargaining to today’s private-sector workers, but the law prohibits alternative…
Issue Brief posted January 21, 2014
Most Minimum-Wage Jobs Lead to Better-Paying Opportunities
The minimum wage does not need to rise for minimum-wage employees to get a raise. Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers make above the minimum wage a year later. This happens because most minimum-wage jobs are entry-level positions. They teach unskilled and inexperienced workers basic employment skills. Without these skills, they cannot qualify for higher-paying jobs. As…
Issue Brief posted January 10, 2014
Heritage Jobs Report: Unemployment Drop Is Coal in America’s Stocking
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent in December from 7.0 percent in November, but the change was caused by people who gave up looking for work. Employers created only 74,000 jobs, a depressing drop from the previous three months. Labor force participation dropped to 62.8 percent, matching the lowest rate since 1978. The…
Issue Brief posted December 6, 2013
Heritage Employment Report: Slow Recovery Continues in November
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the recovery continued at a steady pace in November. The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point while employers created 203,000 jobs. Although the numbers are initially impressive, they partly reflect the return of federal employees furloughed during the October government shutdown. Labor force participation fell over the…
Issue Brief posted December 5, 2013
Unprecedented Minimum-Wage Hike Would Hurt Jobs and the Economy
President Obama and some Senators have proposed increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over the next two years—its highest level ever, after accounting for inflation. The proposed increase far outstrips the productivity growth of minimum-wage workers and would force employers to curtail hiring.
Some proponents of the increase theorize that increased…