Next, you could ensure that people with criminal records have a fair chance to compete for jobs in the federal government and with federal contractors. The Fair Chance Act, introduced by Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), would ensure that background checks in hiring occur at a point in the interview process after the candidate's relevant qualifications are fully considered. A companion bill, introduced in the Senate by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), was unanimously approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and should quickly move through regular order to the House floor for passage. And the Redeem Act, introduced by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.), and by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Cory Booker in the Senate, would make huge strides toward helping the formerly incarcerated effectively re-enter their communities and find good jobs.
Third, you should support the Department of Labor's efforts to update the so-called "white collar" overtime exemptions. Included among the people you mention who never get a break are as many as 13.5 million workers who are missing out on overtime pay protections because current rules allow — in fact, encourage — employers to "promote" low-wage workers into low-paid "managerial" jobs and impose significant overtime hours without any pay at all for those excess hours. Too many people are working too many hours, to the detriment of their personal and family lives and those who would get work they need — jobs or more hours — if currently unpaid overtime hours were spread among more people rather than concentrated among a smaller number of low-paid "managers." Two House committees have held hearings attacking these proposed regulations, but as Speaker, you can give workers stretched thin by long hours and low pay the chance they deserve by putting a stop to efforts to block, derail or delay these crucial regulations.