U.S. Legislative Update for the Week of June 23, 2014

New State Minimum Wage Increase Fails Committee Passage, But Paid Sick Leave, Liens on Employers, Still in Play in California Legislature

The California Legislature is nearing its summer recess, which starts Thursday, July 3. June 27 was the deadline for policy committees to meet and decide whether to advance bills under consideration.  The following is a snapshot of the major private sector employment law legislative activity before the recess. Read the full post here. (June 28, 2014) 

Supreme Court Strikes Down Validity of NLRB Recess Appointments

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Noel Canning v. NLRB this morning, upholding the D.C. Circuit’s finding that the President’s three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was still holding pro forma sessions were invalid. The decision, however, is a relatively narrow one, upholding the President’s ability under the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause to “fill any existing vacancy during any recess—intra-session or intersession—of sufficient length.” Read the full post here. (June 26, 2014) 

Senate Passes Bipartisan Job Training Bill

In a rare act of bipartisan cooperation, the Senate on Wednesday approved by a vote of 95-3 a bill that reauthorizes and consolidates a number of federal job training programs. Among other things, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) amends and reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), eliminates 15 existing federal workforce programs and streamlines others, and allows businesses to provide greater input at the local level regarding the types of skills needed in today’s economy. Read the full post here. (June 25, 2014) 

House Subcommittee Discusses Pending National Labor Relations Board Issues

The U.S. Supreme Court is just days away from releasing its recess appointment opinion in Noel Canning, which will determine whether the National Labor Relations Board will have to revisit and re-decide thousands of decisions. The validity of President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB, however, is not the only labor-related issue employers are watching. During a June 24 hearing before the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) explained that the Board has solicited input on two issues “that could significantly affect the future of labor-management relations. These include whether employees have a right to use work email accounts for union organizing and the proper standard for determining joint employer status.” Read the full post here. (June 24, 2014) 

Paid Leave, Workplace Flexibility Discussed at White House Summit on Working Families

Continuing the theme of the Administration’s “opportunity for all” agenda, on Monday, June 23, the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Department of Labor, and the Center for American Progress hosted a Summit on Working Families. Topics addressed throughout the day included compensation issues, paid leave, increased workplace flexibility for caregivers and working parents, and evaluation and assessment tools.  The event is expected to be used to promote mandated federal paid leave for employees, although the prospects for any such legislation passing Congress this session are very unlikely.  Read the full post here. (June 23, 2014) 

Amendment in Defense Appropriations Bill Would Impact Contractors with FLSA Violations

Late last week the House of Representatives narrowly approved the inclusion of an amendment in the Department of Defense appropriations bill that would prohibit the agency from using contractors that have incurred Fair Labor Standards Act violations within the past five years. Such violations would include a finding of fault and liability in any civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding, including entering into wage and hour conciliation agreements or consent decrees that include a “finding of fault.” Read the full post here. (June 23, 2014)

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.