An American Worker's Bill Of Rights For The 21st Century

Worker’s Bill Of Rights

Our country has come a long way since the Wall Street crash of 2008, when millions of families lost their jobs, homes, and life savings. Thanks to President Obama’s leadership, America is creating jobs again—and has for a record 70 months in a row. Yet urgent work remains to protect and build on President Obama’s legacy, by growing America’s middle class and taking action to make wages go up again for all Americans.

As president, Governor O’Malley will fight for American workers, protecting their fundamental rights in order to rebuild the American Dream:

“Our economy is not money, it is people – all of our people.” – Martin O’Malley

1. The Right To Balance Work And Family. Governor O’Malley strongly supports the FAMILY Act to ensure that all parents—men and women, gay or straight, married or single—are able to take at least 12 weeks of leave, with pay, in order to care for newborn children or other loved ones. He will also set a goal of guaranteeing that no family, especially low- and middle-income families, has to pay more than 10 percent of their income on safe, affordable childcare in a given year. To begin to meet this goal, he will dramatically expand and federal childcare tax credits, on a sliding scale based on need.

2. The Right To A Predictable Weekly Schedule. Governor O’Malley will lobby for, pass, and implement the Schedules That Work Act to give workers more control over their schedules, while still meeting the needs of employers. Erratic and constantly changing schedules leave many workers—especially in growing low-wage industries—unable to plan ahead to make ends meet. People who work hard should be able to earn a decent living while caring for their families.

3. The Right To Full-Time Work. Governor O’Malley will launch a new, national campaign to promote full-time employment, including supporting policies like the San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights that give part-time workers the choice to take on additional hours before employers hire additional part-time workers. Millions of part-time workers want to work more hours but do not have the option of going to full-time work.

4. The Right To Overtime Pay For Overtime Work. Governor O’Malley will ensure that people who work more are paid more. He supports the Obama Administration’s proposal to update restore access to overtime pay to millions of workers—and will fully enact these new overtime rules as president.

5. The Right To Earn A Living Wage. Governor O’Malley will fight to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, indexed to inflation, while supporting efforts to make local minimum wages “living wages.”

6. The Right To Bargain Collectively For Better Wages. Governor O’Malley will champion legislation to make it easier for workers to gain union representation by modernizing the organizing process, bolstering the enforcement power of the NLRB, and creating tougher penalties for employers who violate the law and stand in the way of democracy in their workplace. To fight wage theft and unfair labor practices, he will partner with worker centers and alt-labor organizations to enforce our workplace standards to the fullest extent of the law.

7. The Right To Retire In Dignity, Not Poverty. Governor O’Malley has a plan to expand, not cut or merely “enhance,” Social Security benefits, while adjusting the benefits formula to help middle-class and lower-income Americans the most. His retirement plan will also dramatically expand access to employer-based retirement plans, while protecting seniors from risks to their financial security—including by fully implementing the Obama Administration’s proposed fiduciary rule.

8. The Right To Equal Pay For Equal Work. Governor O’Malley will make closing the gender pay gap one of the most important goals of the federal government. He will fight to finally enact the Paycheck Fairness Act, holding employers who do discriminate in pay accountable and preventing retaliation against women who speak up. He will also work to make pay data publicly available by sex, race, and ethnicity, so that all employees can see that they’re making a fair wage for their job.

9. The Right To Affordable Health Care. Governor O’Malley has set a national goal of ensuring access to quality and affordable health care for all. By implementing “all payer” reforms, he will overhaul our health care system to pay for the value, rather than the volume, of care—while expanding insurance coverage, bringing down prescription drug prices, investing in research, and providing better long-term care.

10. The Right To A Quality Education And Debt-Free College. Governor O’Malley will fight to make a quality education available to every child in America, by investing to make pre-K universal, equitably funding schools, setting high standards for all students, making teaching America’s most respected profession, and preparing all students for college and a good- paying job. His higher education plan will give every student in America the opportunity to go to college debt-free, within five years.

11. The Right To Read Trade Deals Before Our Congress Votes On Them. Governor O’Malley will only support free trade agreements that establish strong and enforceable rules for fair competition and create opportunity for American workers. He will reject trade agreements like the TPP that are written by corporate lobbyists behind closed doors, and ensure that all workers are able to read trade deals before they are rubber-stamped by Congress.

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