summary of a panel presentation of leading employment attorneys,
which made clear to me why an economic recovery, assuming we have
one, will be a jobless one.
Why would an
employer want to hire when he must incur all of the following:
to hire on factors other than merit: gender, race, sexual orientation,
older workers. And now, efforts are accelerating to pass laws
that would prohibit an employer from not hiring someone just because
he committed a felony.
if an employer’s intent is non-discriminatory, if a decision to
hire, promote, or terminate employees has “disparate impact,”
on one gender, racial group, or workers over 40, that may be grounds
for a discrimination lawsuit against the employer.
- Large and
complicated payroll costs beyond salary: Social Security, Medicare,
Medicaid, Workers Compensation, Unemployment Insurance (up to
79 weeks), plus various state and local levies.
leave: 12 weeks per year with rights of rehiring (the Family
and Medical Leave Act) which may be expanded by the ‘”Healthy
Families Act,” which would mandate up to 56 hours of paid
sick leave to take care of themselves or a family member very
loosely defined: “anyone closely associated with an employee.”
- The Americans
with Disabilities Act, in addition to adding pressure on employers
to hire people with physical and mental disabilities, requires
employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for all such
- Laws granting
plaintiffs lower burdens of proof regarding discrimination
as well as sexual
harassment. For example, an employer can be held liable for
an employee’s being harassed, even if the employer is unaware
that the harassment occurred. The financial and human costs of
defending such lawsuits are enormous.
proposed health care legislation will force employers to pay
for the ever-escalating health care costs.
legislation makes it easier for workers to organize into unions,
which, of course, increases employer costs while making it often
prohibitively difficult to fire even low-performing employees.
If you ran
a business, wouldn’t all those mandates make you want to hire as
few people as absolutely possible – even if the taxpayers gave
you $5,000 per? That certainly wouldn’t seduce me — I’d rather stay
small than endure all those burdens and increased risk of having
to close down my business.
To the extent
I’d have to hire, I’d feel forced to use independent contractors
on a just-in-time basis, and would outsource/offshore as much as
possible. I might, for example, find such workers using websites
such as odesk.com, elance.com,
ifreelance.com, and these
that Tim Ferriss,
author of The
Four-Hour Workweek recommended when I
interviewed him on my radio show yesterday: www.99designs.com,
I believe that
President Obama and the Democrats are truly trying to help employees
but the inadvertent effect of their initiatives will ironically
be to eliminate jobs not create them.