NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

IT'S TIME FOR U.S. LABOR LAW TO ENTER THE 21ST CENTURY

May 27, 2008

Rigid labor laws function in ways that can deny working women the opportunity to attend a child's soccer game or take a parent to the doctor one week and make up the hours the following week.  Women need the ability to bend schedules in order to care for aging parents or, increasingly, an aging spouse.  Our old-fashioned labor laws will not allow women to have this reasonable flexibility, says Terry Neese, a businesswoman in Oklahoma City and a distinguished fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

Rep. Kay Granger of Texas and other Republicans recently unveiled the American Families Agenda, which includes ideas that can help ease the regulatory burdens facing America's working people.  According to Neese, the thoughts featured in the AFA provide a brand-new opportunity to create a national impetus for serious reform.

Part of the American Families Agenda includes the Family-Friendly Workplace Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.):

  • She wanted to make it easier for parents with young children, and/or those who are caregivers for elderly parents, to accrue "flexible credit hours" -- allowing workers to bank any hours in excess of 40 in one week to use toward paid leave.
  • Federal workers already enjoy this benefit, just as they have their own retirement system and more healthcare options than typical private-sector workers.

The AFA would also:

  • Change income tax law to permit each married partner to file income tax returns separately, without causing the lower earner to be taxed in the higher-earning partner's bracket.
  • Remove current time limits on access to continuing health insurance coverage, creating incentives for small businesses to join forces to buy good health insurance for employees.

Source: Terry Neese, "Neese: It's Time for U.S. Labor Law to Enter the 21st Century," The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 23, 2008.

 

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