Senator Sanders Introduces Legislation to Support ESOPs and Employee Ownership

On Monday, July 23, 2012,  Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) co-sponsored by his colleagues Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) introduced the WORK Act (S. 3421) and the U.S. Employee Ownership Bank Act (S. 3419).

The WORK (Worker Ownership, Readiness and Knowledge) Act would promote employee ownership and employee participation in company decision making. According to the legislation, “…the bill would authorize the Department of Labor to provide education and outreach, training, grants, and technical support to local and state programs dedicated to the promotion of employee ownership and participation.”

The second bill, the U.S. Employee Ownership Bank Act, would provide loans and loan guarantees to employees to purchase a business through an ESOP or a worker owned cooperative. It would provide federal loans and loan guarantees for the expansion of employee ownership.

Senator Sanders held a press conference on the 23rd in Burlington, VT to announce the introduction of the legislation. You can read the Senator’s release and comments here.

“Senator Sanders and his colleagues are to be commended for their support of ESOPs and employee ownership in the U.S.,” said ESOP Association President J. Michael Keeling. “The ESOP community needs to ask Senators to join Senators Sanders, Leahy, Brown, and Blumenthal in their support of ESOPs. We are grateful to Senator Sanders for his consistent voice for over a decade in support of employee ownership.”