Employment Law: How Will the 2008 Election Impact You and Your Business? November 6, 2008
With the election of Senator Barack Obama as President, and the Democratic Party gaining seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, employers can expect that efforts will be made to significantly change employment and labor laws and regulations over the next several months. However, since the Democrats did not gain enough seats in the Senate to have a filibuster-proof majority, there will likely be some compromises with Republicans on new legislation.
Organized labor's top priority, the Employee Free Choice Act, would amend the National Labor Relations Act by, among other things, eliminating secret ballot elections in union campaigns. Secret ballot elections would be replaced with a "card check" procedure that would result in certification of the union if a majority of employees in an appropriate work group simply sign union cards, thus making it much easier for unions to win. This proposed legislation may require some pro-employer modifications to win support in the Senate as it will now be constituted.
Other announced Democratic priorities that may be modified to secure passage:
- Enactment of amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act to make it apply to more employers (for example, businesses with 25 or more employees), and to expand the scope of the FMLA to allow workers to take leave for elder care needs and to address domestic violence as well as let parents take up to 24 hours of leave each year to participate in their children's academic activities.
- Enactment of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would lengthen the statute of limitations in the three main federal anti-discrimination laws (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act) to make it easier to file a complaint long after an allegedly discriminatory action has taken place.
To help clients prepare for these and other changes in labor and employment legal requirements, Nexsen Pruet will be holding a breakfast briefing on Tuesday, November 11 at 7:30 a.m. More information about the briefing and registration information can be accessed by clicking here.
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