DeSaulnier, Dingell Introduce Workers’ Right to Training Act

December 16, 2020
Press Release

Legislation would strengthen workers’ rights in the face of increased automation

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) announced the introduction of legislation to ensure workers are guaranteed access to training and potential benefits when an employer adopts new technology that impacts their employment. With a quarter of jobs in the United States at risk of automation, the Workers’ Right to Training Act will enshrine essential rights and resources for workers at companies seeking to use new technology to replace an existing workforce.

“The introduction of automation in the workplace may happen quickly and its effects will be felt deeply by working people across the country. As we prepare for this inevitable transition, we must harness the power and knowledge of our most valuable asset: our skilled workforce. With care and planning, we can shape the future of work for the better,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.

“American economic power has always been built on the strength of our workers to adapt to new technology,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “But sustained attacks on our labor unions have eroded access to critical training programs and workplace protections that have kept us at the forefront of innovation. With the Workers’ Right to Training Act, we can restore power in the hands of a high-skilled workforce that best understands how to reinvent their industries and their companies.”

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a companion version of the legislation in the United States Senate. Specifically, the Workers’ Right to Training Act would require that companies offer workers on-the-job training and compensation to employees affected by the implementation of new technology, mandate advanced notification of new technology’s impact on employment, and ensure workers have a voice in an employer’s decision to introduce new technology in the workplace.