BSCAI Signs on to CDW Comments Regarding NLRB Quickie Elections Rule
BSCAI signed on to final comments from the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) in reference to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Request for Information (RFI) on the “Quickie Elections” rule. On December 12, 2017, the NLRB issued an RFI on the Quickie Elections rule that the Board issued during the Obama Administration. The RFI sought public input on the impact the rule had on employees’ and employers’ rights and whether the rule should be modified or eliminated entirely.
The NLRB issued the Quickie Elections rule in December 2014. The rule drastically changed the process for NLRB-conducted elections in which employees may vote on whether they want to be represented by a labor union. The rule is designed to speed up elections in order to increase labor union participation.
Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to nullify the Quickie Elections rule. CDW supports two of these bills — the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act and the Employee Privacy Protection Act — although they are unlikely to pass in both chambers and be signed into law this year.
Temporary Protected Status to End for Hondurans
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it is terminating the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras with a delayed effective date of 18 months, to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on January 5, 2020. The TPS program is under threat as the latest announcement affects 56,000 Hondurans.
Under the TPS program, immigrants from countries that have suffered natural or man-made disasters are permitted to live and work in the U.S. as their home nation recovers.
With the latest announcement, the Trump Administration has now ended the TPS program for over 300,000 immigrants, leaving only 7,000 immigrants eligible under the program. Under previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican, a more generous interpretation was used, allowing immigrants under the TPS program to remain in the country if returning home would cause a significant burden to their home country.
Education and the Workforce Leaders Hold Hearing on Modernizing Labor Law
On April 26, the House Education and Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP) examined the need to modernize certain federal workplace laws, including updates to policies within the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to strengthen the rights of workers to make free and informed decisions about whether they want to join or remain associated with a labor union.
The hearing also focused on worker centers and whether they are complying with relevant statues under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and if not, what updates need to be made in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
“Enacted in 1935, the NLRA guarantees most private sector employees the right to organize and bargain collectively with their employers through representatives of their choosing, or to simply refrain from such activities,” said Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), HELP Subcommittee Chair. “Many of the law’s key provisions have not been updated since 1947, and it may be time to revisit the law to meet the needs of our 21st century workforce.”
White House Releases Spring Regulatory Agenda
Last week, the Trump Administration unveiled its Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, detailing federal agency priorities over the coming months and years. The publication is published twice a year and gives information to citizens about the regulations under consideration or planned by federal agencies. Of particular note to BSCAI members, the Agenda includes timelines for a number of rulemakings from the Department of Labor (DOL) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The DOL provided updates on a range of current and expected rulemakings, including the following:
- A new proposed rule revising eligibility requirements for overtime pay;
- Redefining the regular rate of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), thereby affecting the law governing time-and-a-half overtime calculations;
- Rescinding the so-called persuader rule regarding employer disclosure when seeking advice from labor consultants;
- Updating child labor protections allowing teenagers to work longer hours in hazardous conditions; and,
- Establishing criteria for the sponsorship of association health plans.
For its part, the NLRB announced its timeline for considering responses to the recent Request for Information (RFI) on the “Quickie Election” rule. In addition, the Board disclosed it is considering a rulemaking to address the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. The standard regarding joint employer liability has changed several times in recent months creating confusion for companies.
House Committee Presses Agencies on Small Business Fairness
House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) have sent letters to heads of federal agencies as to why they have not been adhering to a provision in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), which requires federal agencies to publish a small entity compliance guide for every rule that has a significant impact on a substantial number of small businesses under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The law also states that agencies are to report annually to Congress on their compliance with this section.
After conducting a comprehensive investigation, the House Small Business Committee uncovered that very few agencies have been reporting to the Committee since the requirement began in 2007. A total of 135 agencies and sub-agencies have been contacted about their reporting negligence. The annual deadline for these reports is May 25.