Alexander backs Rubio legislation to permit merit-based pay raises

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, signed on as a co-sponsor of the Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act on Thursday.

The bill, originated by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), will give employers the flexibility to offer individual employees a pay raise based on job performance, instead of being locked in to the seniority program as part of a unionized group.

“This bill will give employers the freedom to pay their employees more for a job well done, for their dedication and hard work, rather than for their time spent in a union,” Alexander said.

If passed, the RAISE Act would effectively amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), by allowing employers to increase an employee’s compensation based on merit, irrespective of their seniority status within a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Collective bargaining agreements are the backbone of union relations with employers and currently cover the employment contracts of nearly 7 million American workers. These agreements are overseen by the NLRA, which sets their pay and prohibits employers from giving raises outside of the terms of the agreement.

Most CBAs call for pay increases based on time served, instead of performance.