By Katherine F. Mendez and Samantha L. Brooks

Seyfarth Synopsis: In our fifth installment on the presidential candidates’ stances on future of work issues, we provide an update from the campaign trail and Capitol Hill.

In our fourth installment in our “where the presidential candidates stand” series, we discussed the candidates’ and the President’s positions on preparing and training employees for a highly technical workplace, and how they plan to invest in the workforce.  A common theme among the candidates is the importance and value of apprenticeships.  On March 4, a subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee heard testimony regarding the importance and future of apprenticeships at a hearing titled “Reauthorizing the National Apprenticeship Act: Strengthening and Growing Apprenticeships for the 21st Century.”  Rep. Susan Davis noted in her opening statement that apprenticeship programs “combine business needs with labor demands” — a theme that has been echoed by the candidates.

Since our fourth installment, Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the Democratic candidate race, leaving only Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Tulsi Gabbard, and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

At the debate on March 15, which featured Former Vice President Biden and Sen. Sanders (Sen. Gabbard was not invited to the debate because she has not won enough delegates), COVID-19 and health care understandably took center stage, though Biden and Sanders briefly discussed their positions on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour (we covered the candidates’ positions on minimum wage in our third installment of this series).  We hope that as the race for the White House progresses, and as the COVID-19 pandemic slows over the coming weeks and months, the candidates will give some much-deserved attention to future of work issues, including those issues discussed in our series. We will continue to update you as election season grinds on, and as the candidates discuss issues important to employers and employees alike.

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Counseling & Solutions Team.