The Labor & Employment Blog is a forum for practitioners and Bloomberg BNA editors to share ideas, raise issues, and network with colleagues.
May 23, 2013
by Louis C. LaBrecque
Legislation (H.R. 568) that would require the Office of Personnel Management to provide annual reports to Congress on the use of "official time" by federal employees who also serve as union officers was approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by voice vote.
May 17, 2013
by Patrick Dorrian
A common issue in employment discrimination cases is what value should be placed on the plaintiff's claim. Bloomberg BNA's enhanced Employment Discrimination Verdicts & Settlements Navigator can help.
May 16, 2013
by Robert Combs
The gradual, decades-old decline in the ranks of union workers is typically discussed in terms of attrition. But what about the more overt and abrupt act of decertification? How often does a unit of already-unionized workers actually decide to say goodbye to their union—and is it happening more often now than in the past?
May 14, 2013
by Laura D. Francis
The Senate Judiciary
Committee May 9 began what will likely be a long process of marking up the
proposed Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization
Act (S. 744), considering that more than 300 amendments have been offered.
Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has set aside May 14, 16, and 20 for more
consideration, and it appears likely that the time will be used, and perhaps
more, despite the committee’s fairly rapid pace.
May 10, 2013
by Michael Rose
While the Senate has been busy focusing on comprehensive immigration legislation, the House on Wednesday passed an employment-related bill that
garnered a bit less attention.
May 8, 2013
Federal employees in many agencies are facing furloughs--or the possibility of furloughs--in fiscal year 2013 due to sequestration. What's ahead in FY 2014?
May 7, 2013
by Lydell C. Bridgeford
S. Fortney, a management lawyer with Fortney & Scott in Washington,
D.C., talks about the pros and cons of commencing litigation against the Office
of Federal Contract Compliance Programs because of a compliance review.
May 3, 2013
As the Supreme Court considers yet another retaliation case, companies should again be reminded of the continued prevalence—and relative success—of such claims by employees, as well as their obligation as employers to protect workers against the retaliatory acts of managers.
April 30, 2013
One of the most basic maxims in labor relations is that union members earn more than nonunion members. That was true again in 2012. But within that fact are some interesting exceptions and trends that are worth examining more closely.
April 29, 2013
The immigration world has been all aflutter since the wee
hours of April 17 when the Senate’s “gang of eight” introduced its long-awaited
comprehensive immigration overhaul bill. But House Republicans wanted to make sure that they weren’t
forgotten amidst all the hubbub in the Senate. And they have a different approach to immigration legislation--a "step by step approach."
April 24, 2013
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board during a joint meeting with its Employee Thrift Advisory Council, which represents federal employee unions and managers' groups, explored the idea of changing to a new default fund in the Thrift Savings Plan.
April 22, 2013
Etcubañez, director of programs at the Asian American
Justice Center, discusses how implicit bias and
stereotypes of Asian Americans can hinder their career advancement
in the workplace.
April 19, 2013
Is it the intent of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to make it more difficult for managers and supervisors, than for rank-and-file employees, to prove protected activity?
April 16, 2013
President Obama in his fiscal year 2014 budget request proposed a 1 percent pay increase for federal employees, but also called on federal workers hired prior to Jan. 1, 2013, to contribute an additional 1.2 percent of their salaries toward their retirements.
April 15, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services April 12 for the first time posted
figures on how many deferred action for childhood arrivals applications have
been denied on the merits. The denials started trickling in last October, starting with
six and leaping up to 841 in March of this year; the total number of denials since
August 2012 is 1,377.
Bloomberg BNA has polled 110 employers whose contracts are set to expire this year, asking them about their plans and expectations for their upcoming negotiations. Here are some highlights.
April 8, 2013
Legal issues surrounding whether and when class claims may be arbitrated has only added to the longstanding fight between employers and employees over the mandatory arbitration of employment discrimination claims. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is the latest court to weigh in on the hot topic of class arbitration.
Moore, a director at the NAACP Legal Defense &
Educational Fund, Inc., offers an overview of pending litigation and hiring policies that have gained the
attention of the legal advocacy group.
April 3, 2013
Congress has been away from Washington for the past week and a
half for its annual spring recess coinciding with Easter and
Passover. But despite the legislative slowdown, a major milestone
was reached this week in the ongoing immigration debate: the
AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reached an agreement in
principle on a contentious part of a potential immigration
March 29, 2013
Federal government employees with "seriously delinquent tax debt" could be fired by their agencies and federal job applicants forced to withdraw their applications under legislation (H.R. 249) approved by voice vote March 20 by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey raises the question of whether the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to distinguish between disabled workers.
March 26, 2013
Jones Day attorney Alison B.Marshall weighs
in on the renewed focus by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to combat pay
discrimination based on race, gender, and ethnicity.
March 21, 2013
Everyone has heard the saying “Make sure you get it in writing.” While not the strict legal requirement, medical device manufacturer Teleflex may be wishing one of its executives had lived by those words in deciding that a subordinate employee had resigned.
March 20, 2013
A. Ronnenburg, president of Berkshire
Associates Inc., discusses how updated
data on the U.S. workforce issued by the Census Bureau will affect
federal contractors establishing placement goals for women and
minorities and what contractors need to understand about the
March 15, 2013
Unionized employees at Labor Department agencies have received notices regarding the number of proposed furlough days their agency expects them to take during the remainder of fiscal year 2013, with the number of proposed days varying widely by agency.
March 12, 2013
The AFL-CIO has reported that 25 affiliate unions lost members in 2012, while 16 gained members. Are there any affiliates that have never had so much as a dip in their membership in almost 60 years? Actually, there are three.
March 4, 2013
Even with all the talk of sequestration and other fiscal matters, there are still lots of other
issues getting attention on Capitol Hill. Foremost among them:
immigration. Last week saw not one but two House subcommittee
hearings on immigration matters, and a third is slated for this week. And there were signs of agreement among various witnesses and members of Congress.
March 1, 2013
Arbitration issues have been in the news this week, so let's answer the question of how long a labor arbitration typically takes, from grievance to arbitration award.
February 27, 2013
The National Treasury Employees Union is expecting federal agencies to bargain over the impact and implementation of sequestration if the across-the-board federal spending cuts begin as expected March 1, NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said Feb. 26 during the union's annual legislative conference.
February 22, 2013
Over the past two weeks, momentum has begun to build toward a long-sought expansion of federal employment rights law: protections from workplace discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers.
February 18, 2013
by Amber McKinney
Let's take a look at this year's five hottest labor and employment law issues.
February 15, 2013
What are the top ten issues labor and employment practitioners should watch for in 2013? Let's take a look at the first five.
February 14, 2013
The House is preparing to vote as early as Feb. 15 on legislation (H.R. 273) that would freeze federal pay for the remainder of calendar year 2013.
February 8, 2013
It's not every day that Congress marks the anniversary of a
20-year-old law. And it's even less frequent that the same
anniversary is celebrated by the administration and public policy
advocates, too. But this week was an exception. Twenty years ago this week, on February 5, 1993, President Clinton
signed the Family and Medical Leave Act into law.
Momentum may be building toward further federal legislation on the issue of equal pay, if activity at the state level is any indication.
February 6, 2013
New data from 2012 contracts suggest that union employers have finally started loosening their purse strings during wage negotiations. What’s more, big bargaining units appear to be on the leading edge of this upward trend.
February 4, 2013
Last week saw a flurry
of immigration-related activity on the Hill and in the White House as President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators practically tripped over each other to release their frameworks for what a comprehensive
bill should contain--although comprehensive legislation has not actually been
January 30, 2013
The Federal Labor Relations Authority is currently operating with one member, Ernest DuBester, who is now the authority's chairman, FLRA said in an undated posting on its website, explaining that the authority cannot issue final decisions without a quorum of at least two members.
The pitched battle between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the defense bar over whether the commission is permitted to sue on behalf of alleged victims of discrimination who are not identified by the agency during its investigation or conciliation of the underlying administrative charge continues.
January 24, 2013
The best way to sum up the latest trends in deferred wage
increases is to quote Yogi Berra: The future ain’t what it used to be.
January 23, 2013
Bloomberg BNA caught up with Shirley A. Davis
Sheppard, Ph.D., vice president of diversity and inclusion at the Society for Human Resource Management, to
discuss the organization's efforts to develop standards for
measuring the performance of corporate D&I programs.
January 22, 2013
Two weeks ago, it appeared that the trend was for an
increasing number of states to deny driver’s licenses to beneficiaries of the
Obama administration’s deferred action for childhood arrivals program. But that may have just changed: USCIS has posted a new set of frequently asked questions on
DACA, clarifying that the program does indeed make a beneficiary
lawfully present even though it does not confer lawful immigration status.
January 17, 2013
In case federal employees did not have enough to worry about already, a Jan. 14 memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget calls on federal agency heads to prepare for possible budget cuts due to sequestration or the expiration of the six-month continuing resolution currently funding the government by considering hiring freezes, early retirement incentives, and furloughs.
January 10, 2013
Unlike last year, when settlements covering more than 10,000 workers were being negotiated in what seemed like every industry, most of the large contracts expiring in 2013 are confined to three types of workplaces.
January 7, 2013
There are now four states that have made the decision
not to issue driver’s licenses to deferred action for childhood arrivals beneficiaries--Arizona, Michigan,
Nebraska, and Iowa--spawning lawsuits against Arizona and
Michigan and a threat of similar legal action against Nebraska. But the states say they are hamstrung by the federal
government and its insistence that DACA does not confer legal status.
Bloomberg BNA spoke with Eric B.
Meyer, a partner at Dilworth Paxson's Philadelphia
office, to find out if the four-year strategic enforcement plan
approved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission signals a
major shift in the commission's enforcement agenda.
January 4, 2013
It was, of course, a busy week in Congress this week, between
final passage of a deal averting the so-called fiscal cliff--which
included a one-year extension of emergency unemployment insurance
benefits--and the beginning of the
113th Congress. But what comes next?
It's been a good past few months for George Lucas, whose recent successes include a win by his company Lucasfilm in its bid to overturn a $1.27 million pregnancy discrimination judgment against the company. The case poses many interesting questions, including the relevance of an employer's expressed concern for a pregnant worker and her unborn child to the issue of discrimination.
January 2, 2013
Federal employees may have expected a number of different outcomes to the year-end drama of the fiscal cliff negotiations, but a mere two-month reprieve from the threat of sequestration--the across-the-board cuts to federal agencies called for by the 2011 Budget Control Act if Congress can’t agree on alternative cuts--probably wasn’t one of them.
December 28, 2012
While Congress is focusing mostly on the so-called fiscal cliff, lawmakers have also recently taken notice of labor issues. House Democrats, for example, sent a letter to Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade
Representative, about labor conditions in Bangladesh.
December 20, 2012
In the wake of Michigan’s addition to the ranks of right-to-work states, we ask: Can right-to-work’s effect be seen in how much union and nonunion workers earn in a given state?
December 18, 2012
R. Scott Oswald, a managing
principal at The Employment Law Group, weighs in on legal
developments affecting plaintiffs' attorneys who represent
employees in Age Discrimination in Employment Act litigation.
Is the standard for determining whether an employee has engaged in protected activity under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act the same for in-house lawyers as it is for other employees?
December 14, 2012
Michigan has become the 24th “right-to-work”
state in the union, making it the most heavily unionized state—by far—to enact
such a law. How does a state’s union situation change after a decade of right-to-work?
December 10, 2012
Conservative community leaders and prominent members of Congress are calling for the Republican party to rebrand itself in the eyes of Latino voters after sitting by while a small but vocal minority dominated the immigration discussion by focusing on enforcement and rhetoric such as "self-deportation." Two recent GOP-sponsored immigration bills haven't fared well in the lame-duck Congress, calling into question whether that rebranding will happen--and one group thinks rebranding around the immigration issue could backfire.
December 7, 2012
Washington is looking forward to January, when a new Congress
will be seated and President Obama will be sworn in for a second
term. But that doesn't mean there's nothing going on in
December 5, 2012
The Office of Personnel Management is asking federal agencies to specify in written agreements with employees who telework that such employees are required to work during emergencies that cause federal offices to close.
December 3, 2012
A sometimes overlooked nuance of current job accommodation requirements was highlighted by a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decision: an employee or job applicant seeking accommodation based on a disability or a religious conviction is only entitled to a reasonable accommodation, not necessarily the accommodation of his or her choosing.
November 28, 2012
In my last post, I identified some unions and employers that have been enjoying a successful year in the organizing arena. But, for every winner, there is a loser. Here is a list of parties that have not fared as well.
November 26, 2012
In a stark demonstration of its employer-focused enforcement policy, Immigration
and Customs Enforcement recently announced that it has collected a total of roughly
$561,171 against employers in three New England states during fiscal year 2012:
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine. Employers also should take note that they may need to take additional
I-9 procedures in response to the deferred action for childhood arrivals program.
Labor mediator Amy L.
Lieberman shares her experience with counseling employers
in negotiations with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
over consent decrees, especially provisions on anti-harassment and
non-discrimination training for employees and managers.
November 21, 2012
The political will to make changes to the federal General Schedule pay system may be lacking at a time when the government is facing a difficult budget environment, panelists critical of the GS system agreed during a recent forum on federal pay.
November 20, 2012
J. Camardella, a partner at Jackson Lewis, LLP, talks about the
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs under an Obama
Administration's second term, pre-employment tests, potential effects of the Census Bureau's data tool on affirmative action
November 19, 2012
Back in May, we outlined the battle between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and employers over a number of EEO enforcement issues, including the scope of EEOC’s investigatory authority in class and other prospective cases. An interesting question for employment law practitioners is how last week’s election results impact that fight.
Hope you’re not too tired of election talk, because our semiannual report on NLRB election statistics is almost here. And I've noticed that some unions and employers have been enjoying a very good year so far.
November 9, 2012
Immigrant advocates and practitioners agree following
President Obama’s re-election that a large measure of his success—if not the deciding
factor—was the fact that Latinos, a growing segment of the voting population,
overwhelmingly supported him. But the million-dollar question is whether the election
results will translate to congressional action overhauling the country’s immigration
The big news this week, of course, was the election. And while
attention is now turning to the nation's fiscal situation and the
so-called fiscal cliff that looms if Congress fails to strike a deal averting automatic tax increases and spending cuts, labor unions took some time on
November 7 to talk about their contributions to the election
November 8, 2012
As the lockout rate for 2012 continues to climb, I thought I should expand on two claims that I referred to in my previous post: first, that lockouts tend to affect more workers than strikes; and second, that lockouts tend to be longer than strikes.
November 7, 2012
Now that the 2012 national elections have been resolved, federal lawmakers' attention will shift to dealing with the so-called fiscal cliff. But Jim Nussle, the former Office of Management and Budget director and long-time House member, believes the "lame-duck" Congress that will return to Washington, D.C., will not be in a strong position to resolve the budget issues necessary to avoid sequestration.
November 2, 2012
Since the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act took effect Nov. 21, 2009, there hasn’t been as much litigation activity under the employment provisions of the statute as some may have anticipated. That could be about to change, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission leading the way.
October 31, 2012
Stewart S. Manela, chair of the
American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law tells Bloomberg BNA how his team planned the 6th annual membership conference that runs from Oct. 31
to Nov. 3 in Atlanta so that it appeals to
the section's diverse constituency.
October 29, 2012
of the City University of New York School of Law has applied to the New York
bar, joining undocumented immigrants with bar applications pending in Florida
The granting of law licenses generally is a state-by-state
consideration, but a federal law barring state agencies from granting professional licenses to
undocumented immigrants and DHS's deferred action for childhood
arrivals program could have an impact on all three cases.
October 25, 2012
Here at Daily Labor Report, we cover collective bargaining and
labor-management relations issues in many different industries, including health
care, transportation, and manufacturing. But this week we covered an ongoing bargaining dispute involving
workers whose product is seen by millions, even though most of them
probably don't know about the disagreements. I'm talking about
employees of the New York Times.
October 24, 2012
Legislation to strengthen whistleblower protections for federal employees has been introduced in both the House and Senate numerous times over the past 13 years, only to be left without final action from Congress. It's all the more surprising, then, that the latest version of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743) likely will be approved by federal lawmakers before the end of the turbulent 112th Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
October 23, 2012
Bloomberg BNA recently spoke with Stephanie R. Thomas,
Ph.D., the founder and CEO of Thomas
Econometrics, a human resources firm specializing in
statistical and economic consulting, about the Office of Federal
Compliance Programs' proposed rules to strengthen affirmative
action programs for veterans and people with disabilities. In this
Q&A, Thomas outlines what she thinks federal contractors should
do to prepare for the new regulations, and discusses the agency's
attempt to overhaul compensation audits aimed at federal
Public Sector Roundup: Will Sequestration Continue Into Fiscal Year 2014?
Q&A: When Does an OFCCP Audit Become Litigation Worthy?
Congressional Roundup: Republican Comp Time Bill Gets a Vote
Labor Stats and Facts: Decertifications Are Down, but Unions Shouldn't Celebrate
EEO Roundup: Valuing Employment Discrimination Claims