The Right To Rest
For the last 40 years, workers have become more productive but their pay and quality of life has remained stagnant or Diminished. Health issues and stress has taken over the work force and weakens the country as a whole. Workplace conditions haven’t had a major change in decades and I fear we have left the American worker behind to fester in outdated standards which aren’t just bad for workers but the consumer as well.
Workers who are stressed are more likely to become ill, injured, and less productive. It’s easy for workers to be stressed when they spend a third of your day working with little time for themselves , not enough sleep, not enough time with loved ones, and worry about bills they can barely pay because of their low income. Illness and injuries may be prolonged by not having the proper time to rest and heal which will make workers less productive overall. This raises the risk of workers being re-injured, sick again or becoming disabled. It’s time we let workers have time to take care of their physical, mental and emotional health and live life as a person with feelings and autonomy.
From grassroots labor movements, the Fair Labor and Standards Act of 1938 gave us the Forty hour workweek, the minimum wage, and overtime; I believe it’s time we raise our standards for the Twenty-first century. Let’s imagine a work environment where people are paid a wage they can live off of, all hours worked outside their schedules are compensated, and workers can spend more time with their personal life.
The Right to Rest, or The R&R Act, will champion the next step of workplace conditions by amending the FLSA.
The R&R Act will do the following:
Establish a 25 hour work week
Some studies state that workers are at their most productive within the first three hours of work. There are even companies who have already switched to a 5 hour a day system and have reported significant growth.
To accommodate the shortened week, it will raise the minimum wage to a livable wage of $30 an hour (equivalent to $19.75 in a 40 hour work week), and every two years Congress will raise the wage to keep up with inflation. It will also be the required pay for all tipped workers.
We are in desperate need for a minimum wage increase. $15 is the bare minimum of what workers deserve and that will still leave many to barely make ends meet. In order to truly thrive and not just survive we need to fight for a wage closer to $20 an hour. $30 an hour under a 25 hour work week will give workers over $39,000 in yearly income. With more spending power and more time to use it, the economy will be stimulated. Workers can play a more active role in being consumers.
Establish a daily overtime thresholds of 5 hours for wage workers.
Workers should be paid for the time that they are scheduled to work, any time outside of their schedule should be paid to them as time and a half. Workers shouldn’t be forced to work over their scheduled time and then forced to cut their time at the end of the week. Employers should respect the time of each worker daily.
Raise the salary overtime threshold to $70,000 a year or $1346.16 weekly
At this moment any employee who is given a salary position is not eligible for any overtime pay if their salary is over $23,660 a year, or 455 per week. This threshold has not been raised since 2004 and if raised to the salary stated in my proposal will allow millions to have their time respected again.
Allow Elementary and Secondary Teachers to receive Overtime
At the moment Teachers are exempted from the regulations in the FLSA but I wish to change that exemption to make an exception for overtime pay. Our educators are paid to low and are far too important to not have their time respected.
Requires 4 weeks (28 days) of paid vacation time for all workers
Requires 2 weeks (14 days) of paid sick leave for all workers
Requires 16 weeks (112 days) of paid parental time for all workers
These requirements will be given to full and part time employees and will align us with European standards that allow the health and well being of workers and their families to be a priority, further increasing productivity and morale in the workplace.
Happy workers make better workers, and until the power to unionized is respected by all companies and state governments I believe the federal government must step in to insure workers rights are protected. The Right to Rest is the most progressive and aggressive proposal to bring dignity to the working class and combat the issue of low wages and horrible work standards.
Democracy in the Work Place
Fight for Unions for All
Eliminate Right to Work Laws
Allow the company to be turn over to the employees in the case of bankruptcy