At noon, eastern standard time, on January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden Jr. became the 46th president of the United States, giving Democrats control of the executive branch, and, albeit by the thinnest of margins (with Vice President Kamala D. Harris presiding as president of the U.S. Senate), the legislative branch of the U.S. government for the first time since 2011. While that transition will, no doubt, impact a great many national and global issues, the focus of this article is the potential impact that this dynamic will have on U.S. labor law and policy.
President Joe Biden began his election campaign in a union hall in Pittsburgh and pledged on the eve of the election to be “the most pro-union president you’ve even seen.” As immediate evidence of his intent to make good on that pledge, it is being reported that one of his first acts as president (the email taking this action was apparently sent at 12:23 p.m. on January 20, 2021) was to ask for the resignation of National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb. The president apparently gave Robb until 5 p.m. on January 20, 2021, to resign or be fired.
Parts of the country have begun the process of returning to work, in places where COVID-19 infection rates have flattened or shown a decline. But the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 remains, and some employers may be faced with parts of their workforces refusing to return to work or to perform certain assignments, citing the health risk. What are employers’ options with respect to such employees? There are both legal and practical considerations.
Employees—particularly healthcare employees—are increasingly refusing to work because of safety concerns and the need for accommodations related to COVID-19. In certain circumstances, these refusals may trigger protections afforded by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), among others.
The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.
Every day media outlets are reporting on people’s concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic is being handled: citizens are complaining about the government; politicians are complaining about each other; and workers are complaining about their employers. In addition, stories about protests, walkouts, or other employee-led work disruptions have become increasingly more common. Whether constructively sincere or mere venting, in the context of labor relations, it is imperative employers know and understand the legal parameters that govern their responses to such employee actions.
On April 1, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board announced it will not extend its temporary suspension of Board-conducted elections past April 3, 2020. Instead, it will resume conducting elections beginning on Monday, April 6, 2020.
We’ve previously answered some basic questions that employers may have when their employees work in or visit locations where exposure to Zika virus is a risk. With recent news concerning the first cases of transmission of the virus by mosquitoes in the Miami, Florida area, hospitality employers are becoming increasingly concerned about how the virus will affect their businesses.
While employers and employees alike are asking questions about the proper workplace response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, these same folks are also asking how they can help the victims, their families and those who care for them. Fortunately, on October 29, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) utilized…..
Last week, while legislators debated in Lansing, union supporters demonstrated outside the capitol. Now that right-to-work is the law in Michigan for the public and private sectors, the demonstrations may be over, but unions have just begun their fight. (Click here to read our eAuthority on the new law.) In the…..
As expected and amid demonstrations by thousands of union supporters, the Michigan House of Representatives passed SB 116 and HB 4003, and both bills were signed by Governor Rick Snyder. Now officially known as PA 348 of 2012 and PA 349 of 2012, respectively, these Acts provide both private and public sector employees with the right to either join a union and pay dues or refrain from doing so.
On December 6, 2012, the Michigan Senate passed two bills (SB 116 and HB 4003) and the House passed one bill (HB 4052), making Michigan poised to become the 24th state with a right-to-work law. These bills would prohibit any requirement that employees be forced to join a union or pay an agency fee to a union as a term or condition of employment. SB 116 and HB 4052 are identical and apply to private sector employees.