In a December 2016 article, we reviewed a few of the changes that may be coming for Connecticut employers during the new Trump administration. We’ve identified a few more worth keeping an eye on.
- Quick union election rule.In 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a rule that reduced the time period between when a union files for an election and that election itself. Critics have long complained that this rule simply makes it easier for unions to organize workers since employers have less time to make their case to employees against union representation.
If Trump appoints more conservative members to NLRB or restricts its funding limiting enforcement as is expected, the impact of this rule may be reduced or eliminated. Trump will have three appointments to make to the Board.
- Mandatory arbitration agreements.A contentious topic in labor law circles is whether it’s legally permissible for employers to force employees to resolve disputes through arbitration rather than class-action lawsuits. Arbitration saves employers time and money.
The NLRB has argued that such arbitration requirements violate workers’ rights to “concerted activities” under the National Labor Relations Act. Circuit courts have split on the issue, setting the stage for a new review by what may be a more conservative Supreme Court.
- EEOC pay reporting rule. Amid much discussion over pay equity for women, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had moved to have employers with 100 or more workers submit salary data along with their EEO-1 reports. The new rule applies to 2017 EEO-1 reports, which will not be due until March 31, 2018. Some observers of Trump believe that a more conservative EEOC may revise or eliminate this new rule.
- Joint employer standard. During the Obama administration, the NLRB broadened the definition of “joint employer” (joint employment exists when an employee is employed by two (or more) employers such that the employers are responsible, both individually and jointly, to the employee for compliance with a given statute). This change in definition has meant that companies can be held liable for employment law violations by their subcontractors or franchisees. It also means employers can be forced to the bargaining table should workers employed by subcontractors unionize.
This new joint employer standard, long opposed by congressional Republicans, might not survive a Trump administration likely to sign into law any act of Congress seeking to reverse the NLRB’s decision. It is well known that Trump’s new Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder opposes the rule.
And as always, if you have labor or employment law questions we can answer – we hope you will call us. The attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale do one thing and one thing only – we are an employer defense law firm – in fact, we are one of the largest employer defense law firms in the region. What’s more, each of our attorneys has over 20 years of experience in employment law and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy.
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