Biden is trying to strengthen options for workers with a new regulation


President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order that will restrict employers’ ability to prevent workers from moving to competing companies and remove some of the state professional licensing requirements that make it more difficult to find a job.

The arrangement is designed to improve workers’ opportunities in the economy, increase their employment opportunities and create more competition among U.S. employers, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.

“This affects construction workers, hotel workers, a lot of manual jobs, not just high-level executives,” Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One, adding that Biden “believes that if someone gives you one, you should be able to take him on.” offers a better job ”. . “

The order would be an important test of whether empowering workers will lead to wage increases and pave the way for them to move to parts of the country where their skills are most in demand. It also allows Biden to showcase how democratic politics is centered on workers in the 2022 congressional election, a key argument as Republicans have increasingly sought to portray their party as a supporter of the working class.

The upcoming order will instruct the Federal Trade Commission to limit and possibly ban so-called non-compete agreements that have prevented workers in industries like fast food and big tech from moving to other employers for higher wages. A 2019 analysis by the Liberal Economic Policy Institute estimates that 36 to 60 million workers could be non-compete.

The regulation also seeks to ban “unnecessary” professional licenses that may affect the labor force of military spouses, skilled immigrants and ex-prisoners. The requirements can limit the ability of teachers or hairdressers to move across state lines while spending money in for-profit schools to validate skills they already have. About 30 percent of U.S. jobs require a license, according to a 2018 FTC report.

These efforts build on work begun by the Obama administration in 2015 to get states to ease the burden of their licensing requirements.

The order will also tighten guidelines for the FTC and the Department of Justice to prevent employers from sharing wage and performance data so they can suppress workers’ incomes. The New York Times first reported on all of the worker-centric elements of the order on Wednesday.

It was unclear when the order would be signed.


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