Union activists and our coalition partners are championing a jobs agenda for working families while seeking to make corporations pay their fair share of pie. Below are sample bills working family activists are pushing for in state after state.
Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for companies that ship jobs overseas. By prohibiting states from contracting with or providing economic development assistance to companies that ship work offshore, the “Keep Jobs in State” Act will ensure state tax dollars are used to create jobs, stabilize the state tax base, and reward companies that play by the rules—not fund companies that send jobs offshore. The bill also includes a money-back guarantee for state taxpayers: Companies that violate the offshoring ban during the course of a contract or development assistance period must repay the state and violators would be banned from receiving taxpayer dollars for five years.
This model bill will help put Americans back to work by ensuring that state tax dollars are used to procure goods made in the United States whenever our trade laws permit. This bill would supplement any existing or future preferences for locally produced goods.
“Help Wanted” employment ads are popping up all around the country that tell unemployed workers they need not apply. The Model Fair Chance for Employment Act would prohibit an employer or employment agency from refusing to consider an applicant because he/she was currently unemployed, and would bar any state contractor who violates the law from receiving state contracts for up to three years.
The recession and the resulting high unemployment have decimated state tax receipts at the time services provided by state governments are in higher demand than ever. As a result, state budgets are imploding and budget deficits skyrocketing. To close these massive gaps, states have made major cuts to government services. States should evaluate the effectiveness of tax breaks, scrutinize contract expenditures and raise revenues by taxing the very wealthy and closing corporate tax loopholes.
Increasingly, employers are misclassifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying certain taxes (Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes), providing workers’ compensation insurance, paying minimum and overtime wages (including workers in employee benefit plans) and/or allowing workers to bargain collectively. Misclassification is costing states millions of dollars in lost payroll and related tax revenue, and denying workers key safety net protections and rights. Around the country, states are taking action to expose the high cost of independent contractor misclassification by collecting and publishing data on the staggering loss of tax revenue. Other states are passing laws designed to halt the misclassification of workers, including laws that fix the definition of employee or employer, target specific sectors with rampant misclassification, change workers’ compensation and unemployment statutes to target abuse and ensure state agencies are collaborating and sharing data.