Despite Senate passage, ENDA faces another hurdle

November 05, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Although the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) on November 7, final passage of the bill, which would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on their sexual orientation and gender identity,  faces an obstacle in the House.

The Senate voted 64-32 to pass the bill, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting for the measure. The November 7 vote followed a 61-30 vote on November 4 that allowed the bill to go to a vote instead of being stalled by a filibuster.

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Senate ready to take up NLRB nominations

July 25, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The full Senate is expected to vote on all five nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) within the next few days, a move that could give the NLRB its full membership confirmed by the Senate for the first time in more than a decade.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing on the nominations of Democrats Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer on July 23, and on July 24, it voted 13-9 to send their nominations to the full Senate.

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Potential deal in works to fill NLRB seats

July 17, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

With the clock ticking on the term of the only confirmed member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), reports are circulating that President Barack Obama will send two new nominees to the Senate and abandon his two previous appointees, who face opposition because of their disputed recess appointment status.

On July 16, news organizations reported that Obama plans to nominate Nancy Schiffer, former associate general counsel of the AFL-CIO, and Kent Hirozawa, chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, the only current member who has been confirmed by the Senate. Pearce’s term expires on August 27, but he has been nominated for a new term.

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High court agrees to hear NLRB recess appointments case

June 24, 2013 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in Noel Canning v. NLRB.

In the Noel Canning case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that three of President Barack Obama’s so-called recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were unconstitutional. Without the three appointees, the Board lacked a necessary quorum to act. Thus, the D.C. Circuit’s ruling raised questions about the validity of hundreds of NLRB actions, including union-friendly decisions on social media, confidentiality rules, and off-duty employees’ access to workplaces.

The U.S. Constitution provides that the Senate must consent to the president’s nominees to federal agencies. The Constitution gives the president the authority to fill vacancies that “may happen” during the Senate’s recess that “shall expire at the end of the next session.”

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NLRB nominees face opposition during Senate committee hearing

May 17, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

On May 16, President Barack Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) went before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the two nominees who were selected as recess appointees in 2012 failed to impress the committee’s ranking member, Senator Lamar Alexander.

Alexander (R-Tennessee) said he would oppose the nominations of Democrats Sharon Block and Richard Griffin because “they continued to decide cases after the federal appellate court unanimously decided they were unconstitutionally appointed.”

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House Panel Assails NLRB’s Recent ‘Union Favoritism’

September 23, 2011 - by: Wendi Watts 0 COMMENTS

Controversy surrounding actions coming out of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) intensified on September 22 when a congressional committee examined what the panel’s chairman called the agency’s “assault on American workers and job creators.”

The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, titled the hearing “Culture of Union Favoritism: Recent Actions of the National Labor Relations Board.”

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Categories: NLRB / U.S. Congress

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Employer Groups Fighting Back Against NLRB

September 19, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 2 COMMENTS

Recent actions taken by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have sparked enough anger among employers to prompt a lawsuit, an ad campaign, and support for a bill in Congress that’s seen as a way to curb what one employer group calls a “rogue agency.”

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a lawsuit on September 10 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the NLRB from moving forward with a recently approved plan to require most employers — both union and nonunion — to display a new poster outlining worker rights.

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Congressional Subpoena Flap Amplifies Criticism of NLRB

August 18, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena is a sign of increasing rancor stemming from the Board’s case against the Boeing Co.

The NLRB refused to comply with an August 5 subpoena from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that set an August 12 deadline for the agency to turn over documents related to the Board’s actions against Boeing.

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Supreme Court Sends ERISA Case Back to Lower Court for Second Look

May 17, 2011 - by: Jessica Webb-Ayer 0 COMMENTS

Yesterday, May 16, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a district court must take another look at a case that will determine whether approximately 25,000 employees are entitled to have their pension benefits recalculated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Although the Supreme Court indicated that the employees may be eligible for such relief, it noted that the district court had relied on the wrong provision when it fashioned its remedies plan.

Under ERISA, employers must provide certain notices before reducing medical or retirement benefits. However, when CIGNA changed its pension plan from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan, Janice Amara, along with other plan participants, brought a class action lawsuit alleging that CIGNA did not comply with ERISA’s notice and summary plan description (SPD) requirements. More specifically, the participants alleged that the SPD and other disclosures were inconsistent with the plan itself.

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Senate Votes Down Health Care Reform Repeal Legislation

February 03, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On Wednesday, February 2, the U.S. Senate voted 51-47 against a largely symbolic amendment that would repeal the health care reform legislation enacted last year. (The amendment was to an unrelated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding bill.) Senate Republicans unanimously backed the amendment, which would have repealed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), but no Democrats voted in favor of the measure.

Even if the Senate had approved the repeal amendment, it was unlikely to move much further since President Barack Obama had previously indicated that he would veto it. The Senate did, however, pass another amendment to the FAA bill that would repeal a tax-reporting provision found in the PPACA by an 81-17 vote.

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