Thursday, September 18, 2008

Presidential Candidate McCain and Workplace Rights

What could the Presidential election mean to the average worker?

In my last post, we looked at Presidential Candidate Obama's stated positions. Now let's look at the highlights from Candidate John McCain's official website.

Presidential Candidate McCain says:

John McCain understands that today’s changing economy is making it harder for parents to balance the demands of family life and their jobs.

He believes that strong families require that parents be involved in the lives of their children.

Flexible work arrangements can help families strike the right balance.

John McCain was proud to support the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993 that ensured men and women are able to take leave to care for a newborn child, adopt a child or care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition and return to a position that is substantially equal in pay, benefits and responsibility.

John McCain co-sponsored the Family Friendly Workplace Act, which sought to allow employers to provide flexible work schedules to help employees balance the demands and needs of work and family, such as allowing employees to take compensatory time-off rather than be paid overtime and to work more than 40 hours in one week and correspondingly less in another week.

John McCain also understands that our changing economy forces many families to deal with the disruptions that come with a job change.

He believes that families should be able to hold onto the health and retirement benefits that they have chosen.

He also believes that workers should be able to choose new training that fits their personal situation so that they can build new skills as their careers change.

John McCain believes that to keep America competitive in the world economy, employers need to be able to attract and retain workers.

This requires employers to offer flexible work arrangements and allow workers to bring their health and retirement benefits with them or choose new plans.

John McCain also believes that as our workforce ages, many older Americans want to continue to stay in jobs. These workers have the experience and skills that help keep America competitive. More flexible work arrangements would enable these workers to continue their careers and help keep our economy competitive.

John McCain is calling for a National Commission on Workplace Flexibility and Choice. This Commission would bring together a bi-partisan set of leaders representing workers, small and large employers, labor and academics. The Commission would make recommendations to the President on how modernizing our nation’s labor laws and training programs can help workers better balance the demands of their job with family life and to enable workers to more easily transition between jobs.

Source and Photo Credit: McCain Issues: Economic: Workplace Flexibility:, accessed 9/18/08 (emphasis supplied).

Kim's Editorial Comment: Workers don't need to work overtime for no extra money. Comp time doesn't fill the gas tank. And it doesn't help the employer, who simply loses the worker time in the next week. While a Commission could be good, so many of the issues are already clear and need immediate action. Workplace flexibility is extremely important, yet these proposals provide no help to small businesses and leave workers in the cold.

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