Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Debate Questions For Joe Biden From An Employment Attorney

This is part of the continuing series of debate questions being posted by employee- and management-side employment lawyers. These are my questions for Vice President Joe Biden.

Your opponents have supported efforts to roll back union rights and the strength of unions. You said this to the AFL-CIO: "We don't see the value of collective bargaining, we see the absolute positive necessity of collective bargaining. Let's get something straight: The only people who have the capacity -- organizational capacity and muscle -- to keep, as they say, the barbarians from the gate, is organized labor. And make no mistake about it, the guys on the other team get it. They know if they cripple labor, the gate is open, man. The gate is wide open. And we know that too." Why do you think it's important to have strong labor unions in America and what do you think your opponents propose that will harm working Americans?

Then I'd ask:

You said this about your opponents on Labor Day: "Ladies and gentlemen, you, organized labor, are one of the reasons why this country is coming back. Folks, let me make something clear and say it to the press: America is better off today than they left us when they left." How are working Americans better off than they were under George W. Bush?

I might want to know this (from all the candidates, really):

More and more states are passing laws to allow employees to bring their guns to work. They can't be fired for keeping weapons in their vehicles or for telling coworkers they've done so. What kind of legislation, if any, do you think we should have in this country to protect unarmed workers from coworkers who "go postal"?

I'd also want to ask:

President Obama signed the "VOW to Hire Heroes Act" into law on November 21, 2011. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides businesses that hire unemployed veterans a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers businesses that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran. This law also fixed a loophole in the law to make sure it is illegal to harass service members at work due to their military service. Why has your administration thought it was important to help veterans and military members get back to work and stay at work?

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.