After 15 years at EPI and nearly 40 years of working to protect and uplift working people, EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey announced he will retire at the end of May.
“Ross is a lion of the pro-worker movement,” said EPI President Lawrence Mishel. “The imprint Ross has left at EPI and on the lives of millions of working people is unmistakable. His passion and commitment to improving the lives of working people have helped shape the debate and policies around jobs and wages in the United States.”
Early in his career, Eisenbrey served as legal counsel and legislative director for Rep. Bill Ford, where he helped pass important legislation including the Family and Medical Leave Act, labor protections for agricultural and migrant workers, and the first minimum wage increase since the Carter administration.
As counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, Eisenbrey worked with Sen. Ted Kennedy to advocate for an increase in the minimum wage and fight efforts to weaken worker protections and make it more difficult for workers to organize.
At the U.S. Department of Labor, Eisenbrey helped establish OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standard, which to this day keeps millions of workers safe from needle sticks. Eisenbrey later served as policy director at OSHA and as a commissioner of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Eisenbrey joined EPI as policy director in 2002, becoming vice president in 2003. At EPI, he continued his work on behalf of working Americans—advocating for increases in Emergency Unemployment Compensation in 2002 and 2009, working to protect Social Security from privatization, crafting EPI’s Agenda for Shared Prosperity, and serving as an expert on labor law and policy. Among other accomplishments, Eisenbrey worked tirelessly for an update to the overtime pay threshold, for which he was named to the Politico 50 in 2016.
In anticipation of Eisenbrey’s retirement, EPI has brought on two labor lawyers, Celine McNicholas and Marnie von Wilpert, who will continue EPI’s labor policy work as part of the Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages.