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Workers Expect Changes Under Obama

It’s not a guarantee, but many are expecting to see a shift in policies when it comes to the workplace and employee rights under an Obama administration.

President Obama wasn’t wowing anyone with his dance moves at the inaugural balls, but with the Oval Office and both houses of Congress under Democratic control, it’s the American workers who could be dancing to a different tune in 2009.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more pro-union, a lot more employee legislation coming down. The Fair Pay Act, people doing the same job are going to have to get the same pay,” attorney Greg Rinckey said.

In addition to equal pay for equal work, Rinckey says we could also see a change to the Family Medical Leave Act. Right now businesses with 50 or more employees are required to give workers time off for sick leave or child care. Rinckey says while on the campaign trail, Obama pledged to lower it to businesses with 25 or more employees.

Another big change could end up being a battle between big business and labor. The president is a supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act. Unions and their backers say it will make it easier for workers to organize. Under the proposed law if a majority of workers sign authorization cards asking for representation, they would be recognized and union certified. While they could still hold a secret ballot, workers wouldn’t be forced to.

“Will delegate and make it a lot easier for employees to join unions, make it easier for unions to get access and make it easier for employees to unionize. I think we’ll see a movement towards unionization in this country,” Rinckey said.


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