New Employment Alliance Poll Shows 2008 Priorities for U.S. Employers, In-House Counsel


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 U.S., according to the latest “America At Work” national opinion survey by the non-partisan Employment Law Alliance (ELA). Member Rosalee McNamara (Labor & Employment -- Kansas City) serves as the Missouri and Kansas Representative for the ELA, which conducts these periodic surveys to provide research and thought leadership for the labor & employment field, and to gauge the importance of timely issues of interest to employers and their in-house counsel nationwide.

“While immigration and its impact on the workplace is a significant issue, this poll clearly indicates that it pales in comparison to a host of other issues when American workers were asked what the focus of their next President should be on issues concerning their workplace and livelihood," explained Ms. McNamara, who regularly counsels businesses on the full gamut of employment issues.

This poll, which was the result of polling over 1,000 Americans this month, 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. A summary of the results reveals:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Ms. McNamara said that the international organization's survey was conducted prior to the Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd to help provide context to a broad range of workplace issues.

“Hopefully these issues help stimulate a national discussion on a broad range of workplace issues affecting employers in this country," said Ms. McNamara. "It's always of interest what people think about what the country's priorities should be for its collective workforce, but during a Presidential election year and with the state of the current economy, these issues are arguably as timely as they ever have been."

About The Employment Law Alliance:
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 more information, visit

About Lathrop Gage:
A leading Midwest full-service law firm, Lathrop Gage L.C. has approximately 270 attorneys in 10 offices nationwide – from Denver, Colo. to New York, New York. In 2007, Chambers USA ranked Lathrop Gage’s corporate, environmental, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and labor and employment teams among the best in the Midwest. For more information, visit