Posts Tagged ‘workplace’

Thomas Perez, moderate?

The Democratic Party has selected as its DNC chair Thomas Perez, widely described as the Establishment choice. Perez didn’t give off much of an impression of moderation in the Obama cabinet, however, where he was a leading symbol of regulatory lawlessness, hauled up repeatedly by the courts for trampling employers’ rights. See, for example, Gate Guard (Fifth Circuit describes conduct of DoL as “vindictive,” “indefensible,” “bad faith”), the we-know-where-you-live “persuader” rule (blasted by ABA, enjoined by judge), and of course mid-level overtime (enjoined by judge). More: Dan McLaughlin (Perez’s manipulation of fair housing litigation); John Fund (hiring practices at DoJ civil rights division).

Labor and employment roundup

  • “The Gathering Storm in State Pensions” [Cato Podcast with Peter Constant] “Los Angeles’ Pension Problem Is Sinking The City” [Scott Beyer]
  • “DC’s Paid Family Leave Bucks the Trend — and Economics” [Ike Brannon, Cato]
  • Federalist Society lawyers convention panel on gig economy moderated by Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Hardiman and with panelists Randel K. Johnson (U.S. Chamber), Bill Samuel (AFL-CIO), Mark Floyd (Uber), and Mark Brnovich (Attorney General, Arizona);
  • “How to Avoid Discrimination in Hiring, While Complying with [Export Security Control] Laws” [Ashley Mendoza and Alfredo Fernandez via Daniel Schwartz]
  • “The case for non-compete agreements” [David Henderson]
  • “This economic reasoning is right/For Zero, not for Fifteen, should we fight.” A minimum wage sonnet [Sasha Volokh]

Labor and employment roundup

  • “Apprenticeships: Useful Alternative, Tough to Implement” [Gail Heriot, Cato Institute Policy Analysis]
  • “Hiring Without Headaches – A Possibility or Fantasy?” [Daniel Schwartz on President Obama/Stephen Colbert “job interview”]
  • Employee misclassification as ULP: Obama NLRB “is now basically creating unfair labor practices out of thin air” [Jon Hyman]
  • In the mail: Jeb Kinnison, “Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations” [Amazon/author’s site]
  • Now, for a change of pace, a less critical view of the Obama NLRB and its legacy [Andrew Strom, On Labor, parts one and two]
  • How much flexibility is there in the special California constitutional law doctrine forbidding even prospective cuts (i.e., of not-yet-earned benefits) to public employee pensions? [Sasha Volokh, earlier]

Workplace roundup

  • Following election results, lawprofs’ idea of persuading SCOTUS to kill state right-to-work laws is looking kinda dead [James Sherk, National Review] Sixth Circuit panel, reversing decision below, says law authorizes Kentucky counties to enact county-wide right-to-work statutes [Lexington Herald-Leader]
  • “Congressional Budget Office: Canceling overtime rule would boost family earnings” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
  • “Another Lesson from Bastiat: So-Called Employment Protection Legislation Is Bad News for Workers” [Daniel Mitchell, Cato citing NBER working paper by Gilbert Cette, Jimmy Lopez, and Jacques Mairesse]
  • Claim: lawmakers can “give” private employees paid parental leave and “there’s no added cost to employers” [Kate Ryan, WTOP citing views of Montgomery County, Maryland council member Tom Hucker]
  • All California janitors must now take training against sexual harassment, on rationale of preventing rape [L.A. Times]
  • A “complicated, highly regulated industry”: “Why Are Companies Abandoning On-Site Day Care?” [Rebecca Greenfield, Bloomberg] And: “Childcare costs skyrocket after minimum wage hike passes” [Alyssa Donovan, KXLY; Spokane, Wash.]

“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone”: Obama’s regulatory rush

An unprecedented volume of rulemaking by the Obama administration, at a pace of one major rule every three days, will soon be followed by an even more intense binge of the “midnight” regulation seen at the end of many presidential tenures. Sam Batkins of American Action Forum and Sofie Miller of George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, authors of two recent papers on the subject, discuss in a Federalist Society podcast moderated by Hoover’s Adam White. More: binge of Obama labor regulation will cost economy $80 billion over ten years [Ike Brannon and Sam Batkins for NAM]

Labor Day and forced labor

The Venezuela regime of strongman Nicolas Maduro has issued a decree providing that, to quote CNBC, “workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.” It’s shocking, yet as I note in a new post at Cato, “in fact elements of forced labor have cropped up in socialist experiments even in nations with strong track records of constitutional government and civil liberties, such as postwar Britain.” Happy (free and unbound) Labor Day!

Federal judge halts Labor Department “persuader” rule

“Calling the Department of Labor’s new interpretation of its LMRDA Persuader Rule ‘defective to its core,’ the District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction” against the Final Rule published on March 24, 2016.” [Labor Relations Today, earlier] We summarized the regulations early on:

New Department of Labor regulations will require, on pain of serious criminal penalties, regular disclosures by lawyers, consultants, advisers, website developers, P.R. firms, pollsters and many others whose activities might persuade employees not to sign union cards. (Current regulations require disclosures only regarding consultants who actually meet with employees, as opposed to generating information that might reach them.)

The result would be not only to put we-know-where-you-live intimidation pressure on a much wider range of persons, and create many new tripwires for damaging liability, but also imperil attorney-client privilege, as with a provision demanding that attorneys disclose relationships with other clients.

Workplace law roundup

  • Obama pay reporting rules: “Forget for a moment that the whole purpose [is] to provide litigation attorneys a database they can mine to legally harass businesses. The reporting requirements here are incredibly onerous.” [Coyote, earlier here and here]
  • This seems so French: “Man Sues Former Employers for Boring Him” [Atlas Obscura, Paris; but compare 1994 Canadian story of attorney Paul Ebbs]
  • Second Circuit: managers, supervisors can be individually liable for Family and Medical Leave Act violations [Daniel Schwartz, Jon Hyman] Can one of those managers dismiss an employee who’s exhausted the allotted FMLA leave and not come back? Given the presence of the ADA in the background, you might have to guess [Schwartz]
  • Invincible myths of the pay gap [Robin Shea, Hans Bader/CEI, Claudia Goldin 2014 via Marc Andreesen, earlier]
  • Yes, a legislature does advance important state interests when it pre-empts local employment regulations [Hans Bader, CEI, on one element of North Carolina HB 2 law, on which earlier]
  • Here come “ban the box” bills restricting private, not just public, employer inquiries into criminal records of job applicants [Daniel Schwartz, Connecticut; Aabid Allibhai, On Labor]