Employment Policies Institute

Pull Quote - AcademiaThe Employment Policies Institute opposes government mandates on employers on behalf of the restaurant and retail industries.

At the core of EmPI’s work is its aggressive and practically ubiquitous campaign against proposals to increase the minimum wage at the federal, state, and local level, in keeping with founder Richard Berman’s career-long opposition to minimum-wage increases. EmPI also opposes other measures that might hurt industry bottom lines, such as paid sick leave for workers and proposals to require health care for workers.

EmPI’s public relations strategy rests on ostensibly unbiased research showing harmful effects of the policies it opposes. It frequently cites statistics purporting to show minimum-wage increases drive teenagers and the poor out of the job market. In reality, EmPI regularly pays researchers to produce these studies, and its claims are frequently criticized as misleading and specious. Since its founding, EmPI has caused confusion with the Economic Policy Institute, a respected and progressive think tank.

Other EmPI campaigns seek to draw public attention to the national debt and the tax burden on the top 1 percent of earners. EmPI also operates the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, which claims to advance “economic literacy” but actually uses industry jargon to promote risky payday loans. Berman used EmPI in his efforts to defeat health care reform legislation.

Founded: 1991

Employment Policies Institute Staff:

  • Richard Berman, President and Executive Director
  • Michael Saltsman, Research Director
  • Sarah Longwell, Spokeswoman
  • Kristen Eastlick, Senior Economic Analyst and Directory of Policy Analysis
  • James Bowers, Managing Director of Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy

Past and Present Targets: The minimum wage, paid sick leave, health care reform, ACORN

Active Projects: EPIonline.com, The Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, Defeat the Debt and DefeatTheDebt.com, RethinkReform.com, VoteOurFuture.com, RottenAcorn.com, Econ4U.org, MinimumWage.com, TippedWage.com, LivingWage.org, BadIdeaCA.com, BadIdeaNJ.com, and PolicyAlliance.org

Past Projects: LivingWageResearch.com, Debt-Clock.com, US-Debt-Clock.com, GatewayJobs.org, TeenUnemployment.com, and Citizens for Workplace Democracy

Employment Policies Institute by CREW



quick facts

Experts: Nothing Charitable About Berman's Front Groups

Charity Navigator, an independent authority on charitable giving, has issued donor advisories against five Berman front groups:

The advisories note that, unlike most charities, Berman’s groups funnel significant amounts of their funds to a single company, Berman’s for-profit Berman and Company, Inc.

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quick facts

Experts: Nothing Charitable About Berman's Front Groups

Charity Navigator, an independent authority on charitable giving, has issued donor advisories against five Berman front groups:

The advisories note that, unlike most charities, Berman’s groups funnel significant amounts of their funds to a single company, Berman’s for-profit Berman and Company, Inc.