February at-a-glance…regulations

President Biden prioritizes immigration reform

On inauguration day, President Biden sent legislation to Congress that creates a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Since then, the administration has taken a number of related actions.

“New Americans fuel our economy, as innovators and job creators, working in every American industry, and contributing to our arts, culture, and government,” said President Biden. “We need an orderly immigration system that welcomes immigrants, keeps families together, and allows people ‒ both newly arrived immigrants and people who have lived here for generations ‒ to more fully contribute to our country.”

National Restaurant Association opposes Raise the Wage Act

House Democrats have introduced the Raise the Wage Act to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $15/hour over five years. The legislation also guarantees that all workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by gradually phasing out the subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities.

In response, the National Restaurant Association issued a statement calling the Act, “an impossible challenge for the restaurant industry.” It added that, “The industry has laid off 2.5 million workers and 1 in 6 restaurants have shuttered as a result of the pandemic. Now is not the time to impose a triple-digit increase in labor costs. Additionally, the elimination of the tip credit will cut the take-home wages of thousands of tipped employees who make far above the proposed minimum hourly wage.”

According to an independent analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Raise the Wage Act would increase wages for nearly 32 million Americans, including roughly a third of all Black workers and a quarter of all Latinx workers. More than half of those who would benefit would be women.