Following Wednesday’s Democratic Debate in Philadelphia, Employment Law Poll Identifies Priorities for the Next U.S. President

With the spotlight of the political world shining on the Delaware Valley today, a new “America at Work” national opinion survey by the non-partisan Employment Law Alliance (ELA) shows that Americans overwhelmingly want their next President to focus more on improving their standard of living, providing universal healthcare, and stemming the outsourcing of jobs overseas than making it easier for immigrants to live and work in the United States.

The poll is based on a sampling of 1,125 working Americans surveyed between April 4 and 9 and is believed to be the only national survey to date focusing exclusively on a wide range of workplace-related issues that will likely confront the next President.*

You can not walk outside today and not hear people talking about Wednesday’s debate and the impact of the upcoming elections on jobs and healthcare. Life in the workplace is often the centerpiece of concern for so many Americans getting ready to elect a new president.

While issues such as immigration get much of the press, I believe that the poll shows that what a typical voter is interested in might vary.

A summary of the results reveal:

· 87% of Americans want their next President to focus on increasing the proportion of the workforce earning at least a living wage, closely followed (86%) by making it tougher for companies to outsource U.S. jobs to foreign countries, and (83%) rounding out the Big Three, providing healthcare coverage for all U.S. citizens.

· 76% of Americans are also concerned – but not at the same intensity level – with having the next President work toward increasing workplace safety regulation, 70% support focusing on expanding family leave rules and 69% think beefing up enforcement of workplace discrimination laws should be a priority.

· In sharp contrast, 40% said they are concerned that their next President focuses on immigration issues, ranging from making it easier for professionals to work in the U.S. to granting amnesty for illegal aliens.

· Workers were also significantly split along racial lines regarding both views on workplace issues and immigration reform with, for example, 55% of non-whites supporting relaxing immigration laws for professionals versus 36% among whites.

· Geographically, 46% of workers in Western states thought the President should make increasing legal immigration a priority compared to a low of 25% among Midwestern workers.

· 45% of Americans want to make it easier for unions to organize workers.

ELA members concentrate on labor and employment law issues in every American state and more than 75 countries. The survey was conducted prior to Wednesday’s democratic debate at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd.

“The message to the next President is raising the standard of living and getting better healthcare is more of a priority than organizing unions or immigration concerns,” said Sandler.

Dr. Ted Reed, President of Philadelphia-based Reed group and Poll Director for ELA, said the input from ELA’s attorneys around the country was invaluable in shaping the questions for the survey. According to Dr. Reed, “This survey is important because of the extent of demographic detail, including gender, race, income, education, and geography. The focus on pocketbook issues across the board as a Presidential priority is unmistakable.”

*The error interval is +/- 2.99% at a 95% level of confidence.

Sheldon N. Sandler, a partner in the Employment Law Department at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor in Wilmington, Delaware, members of ELA.

Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, one of Delaware’s largest law firms, counsels and represents national, international and local clients, handling sophisticated advisory and litigation matters involving bankruptcy, corporate law and intellectual property. Now in its fifth decade, Young Conaway also guides regional businesses and individuals through a myriad of employment, real estate, tax, estate planning, environmental, and banking issues from the firm’s offices in downtown Wilmington.

The Employment Law Alliance is the world’s largest integrated, global practice network comprised of premier, independent law firms distinguished for their practice in employment and labor law. Comprised of more than 3,000 lawyers, there are member firms in every jurisdiction in the United States and over 75 countries around the world. For further information, including access to the survey charts and graphs, visit:

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