More Government $$$ If You Treat Employees Better - There's a Bill For That
A Look at the Uplift Our Workers Act
Do you want more companies to offer things like paid parental leave and sick days?
Well, as of last week, there's a new bill offering employers an incentive to do just that. As part of a set of "just society" bills, the Uplift Our Workers Act would direct government contracts toward companies with "friendlier" employee policies.
How It Would Work
Introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the bill would help ensure that all taxpayer-funded government contracts go to businesses that treat their workers well.
It proposes a scoring system that would rank businesses based on how worker-friendly they are. The more worker-friendly the company, the better their chances of winning a government contract. The bill actually directs those in charge of evaluating bids to give just as much weight to this score as the cost of the contract.
It is designed as an incentive, not a mandate: simply put, companies with better workplace policies would have a better shot at winning contracts.
What Would Lead to a Higher Score?
Several factors (see a complete list by referring to the actual bill, here) would be taken into account by the score, such as whether the company:
- Offers at least 12 weeks paid family/parental leave
- Offers high-quality, subsidized healthcare
- Pays all employees at least $15/hour
- Offers at least 7 paid sick days
- Guarantees fair scheduling (meaning workers get their schedules in advance)
- Has not been penalized for violating any labor laws
- Guarantees its workers will not exceed 40hrs/week to fulfill the contract, and/or that if they do, that they will be paid overtime
This bill is one of several introduced by members of Congress this year to try and ensure better compensation and benefits for workers:
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced a bill that would require companies to offer full-time employees at least seven days of paid sick leave, and another that would guarantee predictable schedules for workers, or extra pay if they have to work irregular schedules.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sponsored the Family Act, a bill that would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to workers
The Uplift Our Workers Act is unique in that it is an incentive, not a mandate. That said, a potential drawback of this approach is that in prioritizing this "worker-friendliness" score as equal to (or more important than) the cost of the contract, taxpayers could end up overpaying businesses for their services. If passed, would contractors significantly raise their bids? Hard to say, but it's something to consider.
Drawbacks and politics aside, I think most of us can agree that the idea behind it: to incentivize companies to treat their workers well, is a good one.
Want to Learn More?
Read the full bill here.
So, what do you think can be done to make companies more "worker-friendly"? Tell us in the comments below!
Ah, the dreaded PIP.
Performance improvement plans (PIPs) can feel scary. They have a (not entirely unearned) reputation for being the first step on the road to an eventual firing. And sometimes managers do implement PIPs solely to appease HR by ensuring that they made every last effort to make a given employee successful before terminating that employee.
We recently chatted with Megan Hansen, VP of People at Smartsheet, who oversee the employee lifecycle from Talent Acquisition to Alumni support.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the company's culture and values, and learn how you can make your application stand out!
To learn more about Smartsheet and their open roles, click here.
A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work
The world has changed in the past few weeks.
We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.
Preparing for the Unexpected: How Maria Fava Found Her Confidence as a Bicultural, Bilingual Woman at T. Rowe Price
Born in Mexico City and raised in Guadalajara, Maria Fava never would have predicted that she'd have a career in financial services. And certainly not in Maryland.
Over two decades ago, when Maria moved to the U.S. to study psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, she'd planned on moving back to Mexico to study law after graduation. Instead, she fell in love with an unassuming Italian-American her senior year. She married him and moved to Maryland, his home state.
When the pandemic began in spring and her friends (and fellow Carnegie Mellon master's students) started to find out that their offers for summer internships were canceled, Mai Sha held her breath.