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From the category archives: Politics & Policy

Politics & Policy - This is the category that gets pulled into the Politics & Policy landing page.

5th Circuit Court of Appeals Hears ABC Challenge to NLRB’s “Ambush” Election Final Rule

ABC’s General Counsel, Maury Baskin of Littler Mendelson, Washington, D.C., argued against the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “ambush” election final rule on March 3. Baskin argued against the rule, also known as Representation-Case Procedures, in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, New Orleans, La. on behalf of ABC of Texas, the Central Texas Chapter of ABC and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). A ruling in the case is expected in the late spring or early summer.   Read the rest of entry »

Federal Contractor Alert: DOL Releases Proposed Rule on Paid Sick Leave

On Feb. 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division released a proposed rule to implement Executive Order 13706 requiring certain federal contractors to offer employees up to seven days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave for family care. ABC’s General Counsel Littler Mendelson, P.C prepared an in-depth analysis of the DOL proposal, which can be read here.  Read the rest of entry »

ABC Urges House Appropriators to Roll Back Job-Killing Regulations

On Feb. 17, ABC sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) expressing concern over several regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). 
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DOL Releases Guidance Defining Joint Employment

On Jan. 20, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil released a detailed Administrator’s Interpretation (AI) and related guidance on the definition of joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).  The new DOL guidance comes on the heels of recent, controversial expansion of the joint employer definition by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to the new DOL guidance, joint employment occurs “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 statute.”  In keeping with this broad definition, the AI provides multifactor tests to assist with the identification of horizontal and vertical joint employment, its two most common forms. The AI also gives examples of several industries, including construction, in which joint employment is likely to arise (e.g., workers who work for a sub-contractor and possibly a general contractor). 

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West Virginia Enacts Prevailing Wage Repeal and Right to Work

On Feb. 12, the West Virginia legislature voted 18-16 to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes of  a prevailing wage repeal bill and the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, making West Virginia the 26th Right to Work state in the country and the fourth state to pass Right to Work since 2012. 

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New Hampshire Rejects Prevailing Wage Bill

Last week, the New Hampshire House rejected a bill (House Bill 1641) that would have required prevailing wage be paid on all state construction projects. Citing a union-backed study, proponents of the bill argued the legislation would create jobs, spur economic activity, and raise workers’ wages without increasing the cost of projects. Opponents rejected those assertions and insisted the state would pay more for construction projects under the provisions of the bill. 

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Prevailing Wage’s Impact on Affordable Housing

The New York Independent Budget Office (IBO) has released a revised report on the impact prevailing wage requirements would have on affordable housing projects built with the 421a property tax break. The 421a tax credit had been the subject of extensive negotiations in the past months. In Jan. 2016, the parties involved announced they could not reach a compromise, killing the tax credit and jeopardizing Mayor de Blasio’s plans for 80,000 affordable housing units for New York City residents. The agency had initially estimated that prevailing wage requirements would add $2.8 billion to the initiative’s total, but the agency says that figure was low as a result of data errors. After receiving additional information from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, IBO now estimates prevailing wage requirements would cost the city an additional $4.2 billion, increasing affordable housing construction costs by 23 percent or $80,000 per unit
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NLRB Extends Ban on Captive-Audience Meetings Prior to Mail Ballot Elections

In its Jan. 29 decision in Guardsmark, LLC, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) extended its restriction on captive-audience meetings in the run up to a mail ballot union election by an additional 24 hours. Captive-audience meetings occur when an employer holds a group campaign meeting with employee voters during work hours to oppose union representation. The NLRB prohibits these meetings in the 24 hours leading up to the “scheduled time for conducting” a manual election; however, the NLRB had not imposed a similar preliminary ban in mail ballot elections until the Guardsmark decision.
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West Virginia Legislature Advances Prevailing Wage Repeal, Right to Work

On Feb. 4, the West Virginia Legislature sent two important bills to the governor’s desk. The House of Delegates passed ABC-supported right-to work legislation, the “Workplace Freedom Act” (SB 1) by a vote of 54-46, while the state Senate approved legislation repealing the state’s prevailing wage law along party lines. The measures were intensely debated in both chambers in the weeks leading up to the votes. West Virginia’s prevailing wage law was mired in controversy following the passage of a reform bill in 2015 and ABC’s West Virginia Chapter has been a vocal supporter of repealing the state’s prevailing wage. Read the rest of entry »

New West Virginia State Sen. Puts Right-to-Work, Prevailing Wage Repeal in Motion

West Virginia State Senator Sue Cline (R-Wyoming) was sworn into office on Jan. 25 following a Jan. 22 court decision requiring Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D- W.Va.) to appoint a Republican to fill a vacant seat. Sen. Cline was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming), who was elected as a Democrat but switched parties prior to resigning. Read the rest of entry »