Senator Feinstein has a long history of fighting to protect workers’ rights in the workplace and has a strong pro-labor record.
Ensuring fair salaries and benefits
- Senator Feinstein has been a staunch proponent of a living wage. She is a cosponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- Senator Feinstein supported the Obama administration’s efforts to update overtime pay and extend overtime benefits to millions more Americans. She is also a cosponsor of the Fairness for Farmworkers Act, which would grant overtime protections to farmworkers.
- Senator Feinstein is a champion for paid family leave.
- She is a cosponsor of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which provides partially paid family leave, including maternity leave.
- Senator Feinstein has been a strong supporter of expanding access to retirement savings opportunities for workers.
- In 2017, she voted against resolutions to overturn Department of Labor rules that cleared the way for cities and states to provide access to retirement savings programs for employees without workplace options. She has also supported California’s Secure Choice program, which would provide an alternative for retirement savings to workers without workplace retirement savings programs.
- Senator Feinstein has, since her first session in the Senate, voted against repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, a crucial law that ensures workers are paid the prevailing wage for public works projects. She has voted to protect the law a number of times including in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
- Senator Feinstein is also a champion of workforce development.
- She has supported funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, introduced resolutions to recognize September as National Workforce Development Month, cosponsored the Community College to Career Fund Act in 2017 to encourage career training partnerships, and sent letters urging business groups to prioritize workforce development initiatives.
Protecting workers and worker rights
- Senator Feinstein opposes so-called “right-to-work” laws and other efforts to undermine unions.
- She has cosponsored several bills to protect the right of workers to bargain collectively, including the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act, the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act, and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act.
- Senator Feinstein has joined her colleagues to urge the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee to maintain provisions prioritizing worker protections and responsible contractors in the National Defense Authorization Act.
- In 2017, Senator Feinstein voted against repealing a Department of Labor rule requiring companies seeking federal contracts to disclose federal labor law violations.
- Senator Feinstein in 2017 voted against H.J. Res.83, a resolution that overturned Department of Labor rules clarifying the continuous obligation for businesses to maintain a record of workplace related injuries and illnesses.
- In light of the rule being overturned, Senator Feinstein cosponsored the Accurate Workplace Injury and Illness Records Restoration Act to again attempt to clarify workplace injury recordkeeping obligations.
- As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Feinstein has fought to protect funding for agencies that protect workplace safety, including joining with her colleagues in 2016 and 2017 to urge funding for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Senator Feinstein is a leader in the effort to protect port truckers in California based on reports of appalling labor practices.
- With three of her colleagues, she sent letters to companies reportedly working with port trucking companies engaging in concerning labor practices to demand higher standards among the companies they work with and immediately cancel any contracts that require workers to engage in abusive lease-to-own programs or that have violated safety standards and worker protections.
- Senator Feinstein has fought efforts to override California laws that provide wage and rest protections for truck drivers. She has helped defeat multiple efforts to preempt these laws through legislation, and has signed letters to the Administration opposing regulatory attempts to bypass legislation.
- Senator Feinstein has consistently voted against appointments to the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board whose experience indicated they would not put workers first and could undermine the mission of their employing agencies.
- Senator Feinstein voted against President Trump’s nominee to the Department of Labor, now-Secretary Acosta, and voted against Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.
Supporting U.S. manufacturing jobs
- Senator Feinstein is a strong supporter of bringing manufacturing back to the United States to provide more high-paying jobs for American workers.
- She is a cosponsor of the Bring Jobs Home Act of 2017 to provide businesses with a tax credit when they move an offshore location to the U.S. and to deny tax credits for outsourcing expenses.
- She also supports the Outsourcing Accountability Act of 2017, a bill that requires public companies to disclose the number of employees they have in the United States compared to other countries.
- She has also successfully fought efforts to weaken California’s “Made in America” labeling standards, the strongest in the nation. These standards promote U.S. manufacturing by ensuring that products bearing the “Made in America” label are truly made in America.
- Senator Feinstein believes that any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must prioritize U.S. manufacturing jobs, which she conveyed in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in May 2017 at the outset of talks with Canada and Mexico. Concern about NAFTA’s effect on U.S. manufacturing jobs was one of the reasons Senator Feinstein opposed the original agreement in 1993.