Note: As an employee at a small business, you may have a different vantage point on the upcoming election than corporate employees, or even your own supervisors. Over the last two weeks, we’ve explored the future of small business owners and employees in the U.S. based on the platforms of the two major party’s contenders for President of the United States.
Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s father ran a small business, and this experience has influenced her beliefs in a number of ways. Clinton grew up in the middle class, and seems to have the interests of both small business owners and their employees in mind when crafting her campaign platforms.
Clinton’s website offers a look at her proposed reforms, including a number of bolsters that help to support and strengthen working class Americans. If elected President, she hopes — with the support of Congress — to:
Improve Minimum Wage
Clinton supports raising the federal minimum wage to a living wage for all American workers. She supports an increase in the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, and higher state and local minimums in areas with a high cost of living.
In the past, she has said that she would sign a bill to more than double the current minimum wage to $15 an hour, with some caveats. This includes a gradual phase in of the increased wage, as well as a lower minimum wage in areas with a low cost of living.
A hike in the minimum wage would allow many single parents to provide necessities for their children, and give two-parent households a path out of poverty. This change could be especially important to women, who often fill minimum wage and other low-wage positions.
Expand Options for Affordable Healthcare Coverage
Clinton’s proposed healthcare plan uses the Affordable Care Act as a base, but expands on its offerings. She hopes to reach more individuals and families who are currently uninsured, and give them access to affordable health insurance. She also hopes to prevent the continued exponential growth of healthcare and drug costs, and lower the out-of-pocket expenses currently associated with medical care.
Through her labor platform, Clinton plans to protect employees’ bargaining power by supporting and strengthening labor unions. Throughout her political career, she has been a big supporter of labor unions and union workers. There is no reason to think this will not continue if she is elected in November.
She also pledges to make changes that protect employees from exploitation. This could include protection from employer misclassification, wage theft, and other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Offer Paid Family and Medical Leave
Clinton supports passing employment laws that create a national paid leave plan for families, including paid leave for parenting or illness. Clinton believes this is paramount because parents often have to chose between staying home with a newborn or a sick child and paying their bills.
In some cases, hard-working Americans even lose their jobs because they need to care for a sick or injured loved one. Clinton’s plan for paid family and medical leave would mirror the programs offered in most other developed countries, giving employees several weeks of paid leave during qualifying events such as the birth of a baby.
Clinton still has a number of hurdles to clear before the election in November, but her focus on small businesses has helped her build a large following of middle class workers. This working class support may help some aspects of her platform stay alive to earn congressional approval, even if she doesn’t win the most electoral votes this Fall.