Panelists Address Future of Labor and Employment Practice

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Originally published in the American Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law, Volume 41, Number 1, Fall 2012.

Against the backdrop of decades of significant legislation and court battles impacting the workplace, prominent attorneys met at the Section's Annual Conference in Atlanta to debate and predict what the future holds for the practice of labor and employment law.

Given funding challenges faced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other federal agencies, panelists discussed the future roles agencies are likely to play in enforcing legislation affecting the workplace. According to Howard Radzely, a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Washington, D.C., and former Deputy Secretary of Labor, federal agencies are "currently struggling for relevance."

Radzely believes that federal agencies must do better at offering consistent guidance to the courts. He questioned whether courts are respecting the agencies' positions, particularly when those positions change from administration to administration. "If agencies are going to remain relevant, they need to find ways to get their guidance out and to ensure that the guidance is clear and the courts respect it. Right now, the jury's out as to whether that is the case."

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