Federal Legislative Director Update 12/20/17

Federal Legislative Director Update 12/20/17

Please find below a brief update:

  • NLRB: Two weeks after the newly appointed NLRB General Counsel signaled his intent to ask the Board to consider overruling many union-friendly precedents of the Obama-era Board, the NLRB has beat him to the punch. Over the course of two days (December 14 and 15) the Board reversed three of the Obama Board’s most vexing decisions: (1) Joint employer status (Browning-Ferris Industries / Hy-Brand industrial Contractors); (2) Micro-bargaining units (Specialty Healthcare / PCC Structurals), and (3) Employer workplace rules and policies (Lutheran Heritage-Livonia/The Boeing Company). These are pretty significant reversals and if you would like to read more, you can locate an article summarizing these decisions here: Link


  • Tax Bill & HR: There are a few incentives located in the current tax bill that impact workplace policies. Specifically, as proposed, the tax bill includes offering businesses a credit if they provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. (Important to note, this measure was taken from a stand-alone bill by Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska). The tax bill also prohibits businesses from deducting the cost of confidential settlements in claims of sexual misconduct. The bill also would remove the tax incentives for businesses to provide commuter and parking benefits for employees. In essence, up to $255 per month that companies can provide and write off as a business expenses will be removed.


  • Immigration: The Trump administration has promised an increase in enforcement and scrutiny in the area of immigration in 2018. The Department of Homeland Security is undertaking the “extreme vetting” in this area and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan has promised a fourfold increase in work-site enforcement actions to include actions against both employers and undocumented workers.


  • Wage and Hour: The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division stated recently that it is estimating an October 2018 release for the agency’s second stab at a high priority rule designed to expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. The Department of Labor also anticipates publishing a proposal in January to implement President Trump’s executive order calling for the streamlining and expansion of U.S. apprenticeships. In addition, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently held that Fair Labor Standards Act claims (i.e. wage and hour claims) are arbitrable, notwithstanding the requirement that FLSA litigation settlements be “supervised.” Rodriguez-Depena v. Parts Authority Inc. (2nd Cir. December 12, 2017).