Amy On The Issues
Workers’ Bill of Rights
Our towns and neighborhoods in South Jersey were built up by middle class families. Now, thanks to the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans, the biggest corporations are paying almost nothing in taxes while those families are forced to move away to find good-paying work.
It doesn’t have to be this way. By empowering our workers, expanding access to and protecting hard-earned benefits, and investing to create good-paying jobs, we can build an economy that works for everyone.
In Congress, I will fight to protect workers’ fundamental rights, including:
The Right to Collectively Bargain.
I will always support the right to organize and bargain collectively, and I will never back down from that commitment. But it is not enough to protect the rights we already have—especially after decades of attacks by Republicans, corporations, and the courts. We need to make it easier for workers to organize. We need to expand and grow unions and increase their bargaining power. And when corporations violate workers’ rights, we need to hold them accountable.
In Congress, I will support the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. This historic legislation will strengthen workers’ right to organize for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions—and impose stricter penalties on employers when they break labor laws.
The Right to High-Paying Jobs.
Everyone who wants to work should have the right to full-time employment. To get there, Congress needs to do much more to support job creation. And they should start by rebuilding our infrastructure—from our roads, bridges, and waterways; to our drinking water system and electric grid. Infrastructure investment boosts our economy, creates good-paying jobs, and attracts and supports local businesses. I will work every day to secure the major infrastructure investments we need for our district.
I will also fight efforts to privatize, outsource, or contract out public-sector jobs. Privatization replaces good jobs with benefits with low-quality jobs with few benefits, resulting in reduced wages and worker power. It also allows corporations to reap profits off the provision of public services, even as they provide lower-quality services less efficiently. Protecting public employees—from our teachers and support professionals, to our emergency responders and public safety officers—is good for our economy and our community.
The Right to a Secure Retirement.
Every worker should have the right to retire with dignity. That’s why I will fight to protect Americans’ hard-earned pensions and strengthen and expand Social Security. As a first step, we should pass the Butch Lewis Act, which would create a loan program to help get pensions back on solid ground.
While the federal government must be more fiscally responsible, I am outraged by politicians who suggest that we should use workers’ savings to balance our budgets. People who work and pay money into retirement programs their whole lives deserve a safe and secure retirement.
The Right to a Safe Workplace.
While the law requires employers to provide a safe workplace, far too many workers remain at serious risk of injury, illness, or violence. Unsafe workplaces impose enormous costs on workers, their families, and our health care system. I will fight for the resources regulators and employers need to keep workplaces safe. I will also push the administration to strengthen occupational health and safety protections, including for health care workers responding to the coronavirus. By partnering with unions to train workers and employers, we can avoid unnecessary risks and give workers a voice in their safety and health.
The Right to Health Care.
Every worker should have access to high-quality health care. Many workers bargain for high-quality health insurance plans, and I will fight to protect these health care benefits. I also believe that Congress should expand access to programs like Medicare, so that everyone who wants or needs to buy health insurance can do so affordably. And I will work to lower workers’ out-of-pocket costs by cutting prescription drug prices and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable.
The Right to Overtime Pay.
People who work more should be paid more. But the federal overtime law isn’t indexed to the cost of living, leaving far too many low- and middle-income workers without a right to overtime time for overtime work. By updating our labor laws, Congress can restore this right and give millions of workers a well-deserved raise.
The Right to Equal Pay for Equal Work.
The Equal Pay Act became law more than 50 years ago, yet an enormous wage gap remains. For every dollar a man makes in New Jersey, a woman earns just 79 cents, and the gap is far higher for women of color. We need to strengthen the Equal Pay Act, hold employers accountable for pay discrimination, and bar them from retaliating against women who discuss their pay. We also need to increase the minimum-wage, because more than two-thirds of low-wage workers are women. By raising wages and making it easier for women to enter high-paying careers, we can finally realize the right to equal pay for equal work.
The Right to Balance Work and Family.
Every parent should be able to care for a newborn child or sick family member. Yet more than 100 million Americans do not have access to paid family leave through their jobs. It is far past time for the United States to guarantee paid, family medical leave to every worker. No one should have to choose between their paycheck, their loved ones, and their wellbeing.
The Right to Benefits and Legal Protections.
Too many workers—including many “gig economy” workers—are improperly misclassified as independent contractors. Employers misclassify their workers in order to pay lower wages, without benefits, depriving workers of legal protections like unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and the right to collectively bargain. Congress should make it harder for employers to misclassify workers—and impose strict penalties on employers who do so.