U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) Barack Obama (D-IL) Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) today introduced legislation to reward companies that invest in American jobs, pay decent wages, provide good benefits, and support their employees when they are called to active duty. The Patriot Employer Act of 2007 would provide a tax credit to companies that make a commitment to American workers.
"When companies make headlines today it is often for all the wrong reasons: fraud, tax avoidance and profiteering," Durbin said. "Americans have had enough with a corporate culture that rewards bad behavior and ignores the well being of workers. It is time for Patriot Employers to be recognized for doing right by their workers even while they do well for their customers and shareholders."
"Instead of providing incentives for employers to outsource and move their headquarters overseas, we should encourage corporations to be patriot employers that create good jobs with good benefits for American workers," said Senator Obama. "Patriot employers help maintain American competitiveness in the global marketplace, while keeping our workforce and our middle class strong."
"For far too long, our government has betrayed the middle class while giving tax breaks to billionaires and multinational corporations that ship jobs overseas," Senator Brown said. "Instead we should reward patriot companies that are loyal to workers and advance jobs."
"The Patriot Corporation Act would reward companies that invest in our nation and its workers," said Congresswoman Schakowsky. "Americans have had enough of businesses offshoring jobs and skirting the law to increase their bottom line. We must stop rewarding outsourcers and tax dodgers, and make corporations earn their tax incentives by investing in America and American workers. Our bill will create a new patriotic corporate ethic in America that unites workers and their employers in the mutual goal of building a stronger, more prosperous democratic business sector to compete in the twenty-first century global economy."
The Patriot Employers legislation would provide a tax credit equal to 1% of taxable income to employers that:
* Invest in American jobs, by maintaining or increasing the number of full-time workers in America relative to the number of full-time workers outside of America AND by maintaining corporate headquarters in America if the company has ever been headquartered in America.
* Pay decent wages, by paying each worker an hourly wage that would ensure that a full-time worker would earn enough to keep a family of three out of poverty (at least $ 7.80 per hour).
* Prepare workers for retirement, by providing either a defined benefit plan OR a defined contribution plan that fully matches at least 5% of worker contributions for every employee.
* Provide health insurance, by paying at least 60% of each worker's health care premiums.
* Support the troops, by paying the difference between regular salary and military salary for all National Guard and Reserve employees who are called for active duty AND by continuing their health insurance coverage for the Guard member and his or her family.