Proposed Legislation Would Provide Aid to Workers Affected by Automation
TOLEDO, OH—Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, has introduced legislation to provide critical resources to workers when companies decide to adopt new technology that will affect their jobs.
The Workers’ Right to Training Act of 2019 will benefit workers by requiring companies to provide advance notice of any technology changes that may affect their jobs and provide training to these workers in advance of adopting the new technology.
“No matter how technology changes, Ohio workers will always be our greatest resource,” says Brown. “But right now, too many workers are left behind when companies decide to adopt new technology. We must work to ensure that workers aren’t treated as a cost to be minimized but rather treated with the dignity they’ve earned to have an equal say in how best to implement new technology in the workplace.”
Specifically, Brown’s bill would:
Require companies to provide 180 days advanced notice to workers when new technology will change employment positions and provide 270 days advanced notice if jobs will be eliminated. Employers must bargain directly with employees on how best to implement new technology.
Require employers to pay for and provide on-the-job training to any employees who will be affected by the introduction of new technology. Companies must either provide training to employees whose jobs will change as a result of new technology or to employees who will lose their job to help these workers obtain a different position at a similar company.
Require employers to provide six-month severance to all workers who lose their jobs as a result of new technology.