Court Suspends NLRB’s Representation Rule Changes

Unionized employers and those facing representation elections should be aware that it’s back to business as usual—at least for the time being—because a recent Court decision has suspended the Board’s new rules due to a failure to reach a quorum of the board members necessary to pass the resolution.

The NLRB has recently been inundated with court challenges to its various new initiatives, including the ongoing poster ruling saga. This most recent challenge affects the changes to the processing of representation elections, which were originally implemented by the NLRB on April 30, 2012.

The changes aimed to reduce unnecessary litigation while modernizing and streamline the process. They included:

  • Focusing pre-election hearings on those issues relevant to determining if there is a question concerning representation;
  • Providing for post-hearing briefs after pre-election hearings only when it will assist decision makers;
  • Reducing piecemeal appeals to the Board by consolidating requests for Board review of regional directors’ pre-and-post election determinations into a single, post-election request;
  • Making Board review of post-election regional determinations discretionary;
  • Eliminating duplicative regulations.

However, because only two of the NLRB’s five-member board actually voted on the final rule and implementation, the Court determined that a quorum was not reached. As a result, Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon has withdrawn his previous guidance to regional offices and advised regional directors to revert to their previous practices for election petitions filed starting May 15, according to an official NLRB news release.

New York Payroll Deductions

New York employers face stricter limits on deductions from employee paychecks, under new regulations issued by the New York Department of Labor. The new regulations clarify severe restrictions under Labor Law Section 193 that limit deductions, even with the employee’s written permission.

 

Specifically, the new regulations prohibit deductions in four areas that have been common in the past.

 

  1. Employers are not allowed to make deductions for overpayments or salary advances. This also means that the New York employer cannot dock an employee’s final paycheck if the employee has a negative vacation balance.
  2. Employers in New York cannot make deductions for repayment of a loan, advance or debt. There is an exc Continue reading

Genetic Nondiscrimination Update: New GINA Regulations

Employers need to train managers and supervisors to avoid illegal genetic discrimination under GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act . Recent regulations issued by the EEOC mean the employer, manager or supervisor must caution the employee not to reveal genetic information, even when the supervisor is casually expressing concern.

 

In practice, the new regulations mean that an employer should:

·    Immediately notify all employees in writing not to share family medical history or genetic information, preferably using the EEOC language

·    Notify employees again whenever health information is requested verbally or in writing

·    Warn supervisors to limit queries about the employee’s medical conditions, and that of their family members, no matter how well meaning those requests might be

 

On November 9, 2010 the EEOC issued Continue reading

Republican Victories May Signal More Changes in Regulations

Republicans tallied record victories in the 2010 mid-term elections, winning at least 60 seats in the house and 7 governor’s races. In fact, it was the best showing by any party since 1948. These changes are expected to create a pro-business climate in Washington, D.C. that will benefit corporations and small business owners alike.

 

The new Republican majority in the house will force votes on a number of issues important to employers and HR pros. These include changes to health care reform, and a nationwide immigration bill with tougher verification requirements for employers.

 

A number of tax issues facing employers will also be debated and voted on by early 2011.

 

The changes in the political climate may also halt or slow down pro-employee regulations issued by the EEOC, Continue reading

Health Care Reform Resources for Employers

New Health Care Reform FAQs help employers understand coverage of children, out-of-network emergency services, grandfathered plans and other issues under the Health Care Reform law passed earlier this year.

 

The Frequently Asked Questions on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  or PPACA were issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of the Treasury, and Health and Human Services.

 

Beginning September 23, 2010, new and renewed plans must:

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