2012 Labor And Employment Horizon.
Political and economic tensions continue to influence the legislative and regulatory landscape for U.S. employers as we enter 2012. The last year saw limited legislative activity affecting employers, with most states addressing far more urgent budgetary and legislative priorities. The statutes passed have had a mixed impact on employers: in some states, legislation was passed to make it harder for employees to claim unemployment compensation, while in other states legislation was passed that tightens the statutory burden on employers. Two trends of note: more states are adopting “wage theft” legislation and expanding protected classes of employees to encompass gender identity.
At the federal level, most activity was concentrated in the pro-union National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which spent a good part of 2011 altering union representation election rules, attempting to limit employer-required individual arbitration and otherwise pandering to unions at employers’ expense. Additionally, legislation intended to further regulate the financial services industry has established a bounty for whistleblowers, further impinging on employers. Federal courts also made significant new case law in 2011 affecting core employment issues including class actions and arbitration clauses.
As a resource to our clients, the Labor and Employment team at K&L Gates has summarized key law changes of the past year affecting employers in 2012 from the federal standpoint as well as in certain key states in which we are located. Go here for the full article and presentation by JDSupra.