Full Speed Ahead: Employment and Labor Initiatives During the President’s Second Term -
The purpose of this Commentary (and next month’s) is to provide a forward-looking view of the regulatory and enforcement priorities of the federal labor and employment agencies in the second term of President Barack Obama. In addition to providing background on the Department of Labor’s regulatory initiatives, including “Plan/Prevent/Protect” and “Right to Know,” this Commentary will highlight additional proposed regulations and enforcement priorities in the Wage and Hour Division, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as developments related to the National Labor Relations Board. In next month’s Commentary, we will examine the NLRB and its increasingly aggressive inroads into non-union workplaces.
The levers of power in Washington did not shift hands in 2012. As a consequence, prognosticating about the future direction of our nation’s employment and labor laws in the next four years requires little more than an examination of the enforcement and policy priorities of the past four. While employers can bemoan the decidedly “pro-labor” agenda of the current administration, they can also take comfort in the certainty that comes with continuity in the executive branch. With a divided Congress returning in January along with the re-elected president, we can expect that the president’s legislative agenda will be muted in comparison to the Department of Labor’s (“the Department”) and other agencies’ robust enforcement and policy agenda in the coming years. The president’s second-term agenda will likely include the following elements, in addition to others more fully described below...
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