Legislative Director Update 3/16/18

Below is a link to the latest Legislative Update.

Also provided are a few other updates below for your quick reference:

As you can see from the attached summary, we have seen very little movement on the attached bills over the past few weeks. Today is the 45th day in the 60 day legislative session. To that end, time is running out for movement on many of the bills.

Federal Developments

  • The United States Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit will soon decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars sexual orientation discrimination. Currently two federal Circuit Courts (the 7th Circuit and 2nd Circuit) have extended Title VII’s protections to include sexual orientation discrimination claims while one federal Circuit Court (the 11th Circuit) has held that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. Nebraska is located within the Eighth Circuit.
  • The Senate HELP committee has confirmed Republican John Ring to the National Labor Relations Board by a vote of 12-11 earlier this week. The next step is a vote by the full Senate. The Board is currently composed of two Democratic and two Republican appointees. If Ring is confirmed by the full Senate, the NLRB will have a 3-2 Republican majority until 2020.
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday of this week vacated the Obama-era fiduciary rule. As you may recall, the fiduciary rule required that broker dealers consider only the client’s best interest and not commissions or fees when providing retirement advice. The regulation took partial effect last year but the ruling yesterday nullified the measure in its entirety.
  • The NLRB will again extend the public comment period for potential changes to the so called “quickie election rule” until April 18th.
  • SHRM Members were on Capitol Hill this week to discuss with lawmakers the following bills:
    • H.R. 4219 the Workplace in the 21st Century Act – this would expand paid leave and workplace flexibility opportunities for all employees. The bill would amend ERISA to create a Qualified Flexible Work Arrangement Plan allowing participating employers to follow a federal framework for paid leave and workflex as opposed to the complex conflicting patchwork of state and local laws that currently exist. To qualify as a QFWA plan, the plan would have to offer two major components to all full-time and part-time employees: (1) paid leave (the number of hours would be scaled to the size of the employer); and (2) Flexible Work Arrangement – the employer would offer at least one flexible work arrangement to each employee.
    • S. 2203 – Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act – This will would prohibit employers from enforcing mandatory arbitration agreements for sex discrimination claims. SHRM supports public policy proposals that promote an accessible, prompt and fair resolution of harassment claims in the workplace while protecting confidentiality and due process, including arbitration.
    • S. 2344 The Immigration Innovation Act (introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch and Jeff Flake) that would help to modernize our immigration system by allocating visas to clear backlogs, enhance protections, educate and train US workers and streamline filings for compliant employers.

Legislative Update Link:
March 16, 2018 Update