To the Honorable @BarackObama:
Labor rights are human rights. Too many Americans have worked hard and have died for the labor protections we currently have in place.
Please protect and strengthen US labor laws. Do not allow powerful corporate interests to ignore, violate, and weaken workplace safety, EEO, ADA, public safety and environmental protection, whistleblower protections, fraud prevention, and laws protecting employees rights to organize in unions.
There is an epidemic of violations of public safety, fraud, and corruption laws that are directly related to labor law violations in government entities at every level and in US corporations.
Public Ethics Commissions, AGs, IGs and elected officials are unresponsive to labor violation complaints in workplaces and government, even when proof is submitted, tax dollars are misused, and there are rampant ethics, safety, and other compliance violations. The EEOC, OSHA, and State Divisions of Human Rights are underfunded and understaffed, thus their responses to these complaints are almost always delayed and extremely insufficient.
Given that all government employees are required to report legal and ethical noncompliance, mandatory imparital investigations must be implemented without exception and accompanied by absolute prevention of unlawful retaliation against complaining employees. There must be a freeze on any termination of any complaining employee while a sound, impartial, unbiased and thorough investigation is completed, and even afterwards, retaliation against complainants must be prevented.
Violations of EEO, OSHA, public safety, retaliaiton protections, whistleblower protections, ADA, union-protections and fraud/corruption prevention laws must be classified as serious crimes that result in prosecution. There is extremely insufficient protection for employees who use apropriate channels to report noncompliance in both government and corporate workplaces.
Currently, legal compliance with US labor laws is essentially optional for corporate and government workplaces. Only employees who can afford lawyers have a chance of recourse. Most lawyers will not take cases on contingency, even if complaining employees can prove employer noncompliance with labor and other laws. When there is rare justice, it comes years later – often after unlawful retaliatory termination and great damage to health, families, and finances.
Most legitimate employee complaints are dismissed by noncompliant employers who unlawfully retaliate against these employees, terminate their employment and health coverage and pay them a small sum for which they are desperate and on which they are taxed. This money almost always comes with a gag order, the dismissal of the complaint with government authorities so there is never an investigation, and the continued employment of those guity of serial noncompliance and other violations of law, which remain unremediated.
Many General Counsel attorneys falsely believe their duty is to protect the corporation by any means instead of ensuring legal compliance and remediating noncompliance according to non-retaliation laws. GCs who knowingly cover up unlawful practices in corporations and government entities must be addressed by the criminal justice system and BAR associations given the enormous financial fraud perpetrated upon taxpayers and shareholders when significant funds are used to unlawfully retaliate against employees who exercise their rights to complain about noncompliance. When this occurs in government entities, it is fraudulent misuse of taxpayer money.
These crimes are epidemic and do require deterrence in the form of large fines, improved processes for complaining employees, and guaranteed sound impartial investigations into unlawful practices, even when there are settlements with complaining employees. Gag orders need to be made unlawful, regardless of settlements with employees.
Please improve recourse methods for employees trapped in this epidemic of legal non-compliance in US corporations and government entities. Currently, even employees who handle such situations correctly and have proof do not receive justice; the federal courts are stacked with biased, anti-employee judges, and the complaint processes available to employees frequently result in these complaining employees losing their jobs due to unlawful retaliation.
Furthermore, those who contribute to and/or enable unlawful retaliation by not reporting it need to be held accountable as well – as they often benefit personally. Any of us who have been lucky enough to be able to afford legal counsel must help those who have not and must improve our current system.
When there is justice, it comes many years later – often after the unlawfully retaliatory loss of one’s job and health insurance, inordinate stresses on entire families, and unwarranted discrimination at future jobs for having used the legal methods available to complain about noncompliant workplaces and government entities brazenly engaged in unlawful labor practices, including unlawful retaliatory termination. These workplaces (both private and government) then escape the scrutiny of an investigation into their rampant unlawful practices.
Finally, financial incentives for US companies to send American jobs overseas where there are fewer labor protections is unacceptable and must stop.