Obama Administration Killing Jobs Right Here In North Dakota
North Dakota State Rep. Duane DeKrey forwarded me some emails this morning his wife got from her employer, America’s Pride, which is a government contractor. The company provides medical transcription services to VA and military hospitals around the country and previously employed work-at-home typists on a very flexible schedule allowing some to work just a few hours a week. Now all that is changing. According to an email sent out to the company’s employees they are being forced to “downsize” after an audit from the Department of Labor (more than likely one of those recently requested by President Obama) found that they must begin paying benefits and “Wage Determination Rate” and benefits to all their employees regardless of the number of hours worked.
The full email is below.
The Wage Determination Rate is a part of the David-Bacon Act which inflates wages for labor which, as former union organizer Josh Eidelson recently put it in Salon, makes “it easier for contractors that use union labor to compete with cheaper non-union contractors for work.” Put another way, it forces companies who contract with the federal government (America’s Pride provides services for military hospitals) to pay union rates even when cheaper, non-union labor is available.
Conservatives often argue that the more taxes and regulations you put on businesses the fewer jobs we’ll have. Here’s the evidence. By inflating the cost of employing people, this company has been left with no choice but to employ fewer people. They had employment agreements that were perfectly acceptable for all involved, but the federal government’s mandates is destroying them leaving fewer people employed.
I spoke with Jan DeKrey, and she said she was happy to accept the wage she was being paid. ”People don’t understand that we home workers accept a lower wage because we get the benefit of working at home,” she told me. ”Sure I could get a job driving 80 miles into Bismarck to work that, but I don’t want to spend my day driving back and forth.”
“There are hundreds and hundreds of women,” who fill these jobs DeKrey told me. ”President Obama talks about supporting family women. Well there are a lot of women and families aren’t going to be able to fill these jobs any more.”
Bottom line: What DeKrey’s employer had going was a mutually beneficial arrangement. They got to pay lower wages to workers who, in turn, got the benefit of a stay-at-home job and a very flexible schedule. That’s also a benefit to the taxpayers in the form of lower costs for contracted labor.
But all that is gone now, because Big Government knows best.
Tags: america's pride, Barack Obama, davis-bacon act, department of labor, duane dekrey, North Dakota News
Dear America’s Pride Team,
As you all know, we were recently audited by the Department of Labor (DOL). We received the results of the audit this morning, and I need to let you all know of some changes that we must implement in order to comply with the decision of the DOL. The DOL has determined that we are required to pay the Wage Determination Rate and fringe benefits based on hours worked to all of our medical transcriptionists. However, this also means that we are going to have to downsize our team because of the requirement to pay fringe benefits to employees regardless of the number of hours worked. As a result, we are also required to become more formal in our work hours and our productivity requirements.
We have really enjoyed the flexibility that we have been able to have for all of our team and still provide top-notch, on-time transcription for our veterans and military service members. We will strive to maintain as much of this flexibility as we can, but we are going to need team members who are willing and able to commit to full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours per week). Unfortunately we won’t be able to have people working here and there or just a few hours per week anymore.
As I mentioned above, we are also going to have downsize in order to be able to stay in business and comply with the DOL guidance. This is a sad decision for me because I appreciate you all, and we have been through a lot together. Back when we lost Ohio, many of you voluntarily took a reduction in hours and lines so that we would not have to let anyone go. That spirit of teamwork and caring is a hallmark of America’s Pride. I am truly sorry that we are faced with this situation.
I don’t have any further details yet, but you will be hearing from me again either today or tomorrow.