President Joe Biden focused on work-related initiatives in his third State of the Union speech. He proposed raising $500 billion over the next decade by establishing a minimum 25% income tax on billionaires and a minimum corporate tax of 21%. The current average federal income tax rate for America’s 1,000 billionaires is 8.2%, far less than what most people pay, including teachers, nurses, and other middle-class workers. President Biden also urged Congress to pass worker-friendly legislation, such as the Equality Act, the PRO Act, and a bill to raise the federal minimum wage.

The 2024 State of the Union speech continued President Biden’s advocacy efforts for worker’s rights that he originally announced in 2023. For instance, President Biden called for paid family and medical leave in last year’s State of the Union address. Next, President Biden proposed a national paid family and medical leave program at a press conference that marked the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). He later outlined a $325 billion paid family leave program.

Finally, President Biden recognized UAW President Shawn Fain during his address and praised organized labor, noting that he was the first President to walk a picket line. After last year’s victories for the UAW and automakers, as well as the Teamsters and UPS, the question is whether union organizing efforts will continue to succeed. Currently, the Teamsters are focusing their efforts on non-unionized logistics companies and Amazon, while the UAW is working with Tesla employees and foreign car manufacturers with factories in the U.S. UAW has pledged $40 million through 2026 to unionize additional auto and battery workers.

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 470-571-1007.