With the Iowa caucuses tonight, and the Connecticut primaries just one month away, it’s a good time to start paying attention to what the elections of particular candidates would mean to various labor & employment laws.
–If a Democrat is elected, an early effort will be made to ensure passage of the amendment making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal. In second place is an increase in the minimum wage.
–If a Republican is elected, there will be no early action on a labor and employment issue. In second place is nothing.
–If a Democrat is elected, a more long term goal will be the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Unless the Democrats significantly increase their majority in both houses of Congress, this will be rough sledding. In second place is an expansion of the FMLA.
–If a Republican is elected, a more long term goal will be changing the Fair Labor Standards Act to permit comp time to be substituted for overtime. Unless the Republicans regain control of Congress, this change is unlikely to happen. In second place is a bill to encourage the government and business to work together to give American employees new skills to compete with foreign competitors.
When it comes down to it, the big differences in the candidates remain along party lines; Democrats would typically favor legislation supporting unions while the Republican candidates would not. No real surprise there.
But some candidates are more enthusiastic about some issues than others. It is these types of differences that voters should start to think about if they are interested in labor and employment law issues.