Joe Biden’s election as the 46th president of the United States may reshape the workplace, raising the minimum wage, encouraging diversity and restoring protections eliminated by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Biden has said he will remove barriers to union membership, help parents get affordable child care and ensure that families can take time off with pay when they need to care for an ill relative.
The former vice president takes office in a troubled time for workers. The coronavirus pandemic is still battering the economy even though half the 22 million jobs lost in early spring have been recovered. With the virus surging across the country, some states are again imposing business restrictions. And Congress remains deadlocked over a new relief bill that would provide more aid to struggling firms.
Here is what we might see unfold in the workplace over Biden’s first term:
The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. Biden is for increasing it to $15 an hour and expanding the pool of workers who can earn it.
Biden has promised to prohibit employers from paying a lower minimum wage to employees who earn tips. Domestic and farm workers would be able to earn the elevated pay. And once wages get to $15, increases would be linked to median wage growth, Oxford Economics says.
The pay hike could lead to higher prices, a lower number of people being hired, and increased reliance on labor alternatives like automation, Oxford says. Businesses might pare other benefits as well to cut costs. But a boost in wages would also help many lower-income Americans.
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