US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Don’t Punish Small Businesses for Giving Raises

Thursday, June 21, 2012Joe Brenckle 202-224-2465

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he was disappointed the Senate rejected the Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act which was offered as an amendment to the farm bill today.  The RAISE Act amendment would have allowed employers to give employees raises, bonuses, incentive payments and other monetary rewards whenever they are earned, whether the union boss approves or not. 

“I am extremely disappointed the Senate rejected this reasonable provision to help small business.  The key to our economic recovery is the health of small businesses and for them to reach their full potential, and grow into job-creating machines. To do this they need the flexibility to maintain and attract the key employees who will get them there,” said Senator Enzi.  “Once a business is unionized however, giving an employee a raise, or a bonus, or an incentive without the approval of the union boss becomes an ‘unfair labor practice.’ All compensation issues must be negotiated with the union, which allows the union to take credit for securing the raise.  The National Labor Relations Board will even penalize employers for it.  The last thing we need is a federal agency and unions punishing companies for trying to perform better by rewarding their employees.”

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