Appeals court keeps hold on Obama’s immigration orders

May 27, 2015 0 COMMENTS

No quick resolution is in sight to the uncertainty surrounding President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. On May 26, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a temporary hold on Obama’s actions, which were designed to ease deportation worries for millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for years.

“Employers will have to wait possibly months, or years, for the courts or Congress to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for work permits under President Obama’s executive action,” said Elaine C. Young, an attorney with the Kirton McConkie law firm in Salt Lake City and an editor of Utah Employment Law Letter.

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Controversial EEOC official reconfirmed as general counsel

December 03, 2014 0 COMMENTS

P. David Lopez, general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), won confirmation for another four-year term on a 53-43 Senate vote on December 3. The Senate also voted 93-2 to confirm Charlotte Burrows to a seat on the commission.

Lopez became the agency’s general counsel in April 2010. Before taking the general counsel post, he held various EEOC positions during a two-decade career with the agency.

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Obama’s three NLRB recess appointments were invalid, Supreme Court rules

June 26, 2014 0 COMMENTS

On June 26, 2014, the U.S Supreme Court unanimously upheld the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Noel Canning v. NLRB, concluding that President Barack Obama’s three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and Terence Flynn—were not valid.  Accordingly, since three out of the five members were invalidly appointed, the NLRB lacked a quorum.  That means Board decisions, including union-friendly rulings on social media, confidentiality rules, and off-duty employee access to the workplace, are now affected and likely invalid

In January 2012, President Obama filled three vacancies on the NLRB while the Senate was on its 20-day holiday break. Republicans objected to the president’s appointments, claiming the Senate wasn’t in recess because it was holding pro forma sessions every few days.

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Criticism in store for Obama’s choice for DOL

March 18, 2013 0 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s choice of Thomas E. Perez for secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor is likely to face tough questions during the process of confirmation by the Senate. If confirmed, Perez will replace Hilda L. Solis, who stepped down as labor secretary in January after serving in the post four years.

Foes of Perez, who currently is the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, are citing a report from the administration’s inspector general that points out “deep ideological polarization” that has “fueled disputes and mistrust” in the Justice Department’s Voting Section. The report says problems have existed for years, including in the George W. Bush administration, but Perez’s performance was called into question as soon as reports indicated he would be nominated for labor secretary.

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Obama unveils compromise on health reform contraception rule

February 01, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The Obama administration released a compromise plan February 1 on how contraception is covered under the healthcare reform law, but it’s not clear whether foes of the original requirement will approve.

Under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, contraception is included as a free preventive service. The original rule exempted religious groups that employ mostly people of their own faith, but groups such as religious universities and Catholic hospitals weren’t included in the exemption.

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Court ruling puts NLRB future in jeopardy

January 25, 2013 0 COMMENTS

A court ruling has put the brakes on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and possibly invalidated decisions the Board has made for the last year.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on January 25 that President Barack Obama acted unconstitutionally when he made three recess appointments to the NLRB on January 4, 2012.

The court’s ruling is seen as good news for employers because it seems to thwart what many in the business community see as the NLRB trying to rewrite labor law to benefit unions.

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Memorandum Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Executive Branch Employees

June 03, 2010 0 COMMENTS

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed a federal memorandum requiring executive agencies to extend to same-sex partners the employment benefits equivalent to those granted to opposite-sex partners. The memorandum expands benefits previously provided to same-sex partners in an executive memorandum signed last October and is the latest in a handful of government moves to preserve rights and benefits for gay individuals. This most recent action, as well as the ongoing review of the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, suggests a favorable atmosphere for the consideration and possible passage of the pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

ENDA would provide job protections for gay and transgendered workers by prohibiting discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Though the bill has seen no official action in Congress since committee hearings late last year, U.S. House of Representatives proponents of the bill have been counting votes to determine whether to bring the bill to the floor, perhaps as soon as this month.

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Harvard Law Grad Reflects on Employers’ Prospects If Kagan on Court

May 10, 2010 4 COMMENTS

by Joanna R. Vilos

President Barack Obama today nominated Elena Kagan to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. Stevens has a reputation for making employee-friendly decisions in cases that have reached the high court, but most employers don’t have much familiarity with Kagan or her views on employment-related issues.

So how would the confirmation of Kagan change the Supreme Court’s composition and the world of employment law? Frankly, there’s not much information to guide this inquiry. Kagan has never been a judge and is therefore somewhat of an unknown quantity. While I can’t promise an accurate prediction of Kagan’s judicial tendencies, I can promise to equip you with just enough information about her to impress your colleagues at the next cocktail party if the topic of Supreme Court nominations should arise.

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