At Tonkon Torp’s June 9 Annual Labor & Employment Event, partner Kristin Bremer Moore shared insight into anticipated changes to labor law and the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) that will be pursued by the Biden administration.
Kristin kicked off her talk with a review of Biden’s labor agenda, which he shared broadly on the campaign trail. This includes reinstating Obama-era labor policies, a focus on “good-paying, union jobs,” increased penalties and NLRB enforcement, and delivering on a promise to target the misclassification of independent contractors.
After a look at the history of the Act, and the historical role of its Board and General Counsel, Kristin shared likely changes that will be made by a Democrat-dominant NLRB. These encompass issues ranging from micro-unit organizing, the use of email in organizing, abusive conduct, and protected activity. One of the broadest changes on the horizon relates to employee handbooks. It’s expected that the NLRB will revert to a previous standard that a facially neutral rule violates the Act if it can be “reasonably construed” by an employee to prohibit Section 7 activity. This standard was changed during the Trump administration.
Kristin ended her briefing with a preview of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), which passed the House of Representatives on March 9, but is vulnerable to a filibuster in the Senate. The PRO Act is a sweeping overhaul of labor law that has been characterized as Labor’s “wish list,” and which aims to codify union friendly board precedent – or overturn employer friendly board precedent. The PRO Act addresses union elections, would dramatically alter the collective bargaining process, and would enhance penalties and enforcements that current labor law does not deliver.
Kristin is Chair of Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. She exclusively represents employers from claims of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, and other labor and employment matters. Kristin also represents management in traditional labor matters, including appearing before the NLRB, as well as handling labor arbitrations, bargaining and union elections.
Learn more about other topics from the 2021 Annual Labor & Employment Event:
Reopening Strategies & Considerations
Mandatory Vaccination Policies
Telecommuting and Flexible Work Schedules
Complying with the Workplace Fairness Act
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Employers