Our nation's workforce is the lifeblood of our economy. Congressmember Espaillat firmly believes that the best path to economic stability and success on an individual, family, and national level is a good paying job. This begins with ensuring that our workers are making enough money to support themselves and their families. No one should have to work multiple jobs simply to make ends meet, which is why Congressmember Espaillat is a strong proponent of increasing the federal minimum wage to a living wage. Not only do we need to make sure that our employees are making a livable wage for their hard work, but we also need to ensure that all employees are receiving equal pay for equal work. Congressmember Espaillat is a cosponsor of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, and will continue to advocate for living and equal wages.
In addition to ensuring that our country's employees make enough money to make ends meet, Congressmember Espaillat also believes that worker and workplace protections are critical to ensuring a healthy, safe, and efficient workforce. This means protecting the Fair Labors Standards Act from attacks aiming to dismantle it; ensuring that Occupational and Safety Hazards Act continues to work for the benefit of hardworking Americans; and supporting the right of workers to unionize in order to bargain for the benefits and pay they so duly deserve.
Congressmember Espaillat understands that we must not only take care of our employees during their working years, but we need to provide the tools and resources necessary to allow those individuals to properly and effectively save for their retirements. In New York City alone, there are 1.1 million private sector employees who do not have access to a retirement plan through their employer. In an attempt to allow states and very large cities to creatively develop a solution to this problem, the Department of Labor under President Obama published two rules that allowed states and very large cities, like New York, to develop an opt-in retirement plan for those employees. However, Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration recklessly nullified those rules, chilling any potential solutions to this problem in the near future. Congressmember Espaillat understands the importance of saving for the future, and will continue to advocate for policies that look out for America's workers.