President Biden introduced the American Jobs Act on March 31. The proposal is preliminary, with only an overview provided by the administration thus far. Nonetheless, the Act seems expansive, with several potential changes on the horizon for employers, including:
- More federal oversight. The Act emphasizes strengthening “enforcement agencies” to protect against discrimination, health and safety issues, and wages (among other things). If signed into law, this may mean that more audits from federal agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL).
- PRO Act. “Protecting the Right to Organize” (PRO) Act is currently pending in Congress. The PRO Act seeks to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the main law addressing how labor unions operate. If passed, the PRO Act would expand the ability of many employees to organize while increasing penalties for employers that seek to deter organizing. The American Jobs Act voices support for the PRO Act – perhaps revealing that it may opt to include certain components of labor protections in its final version.
- Increased emphasis on government contractors allowing union organizing. The Act specifically delineates a priority for government contractors to “deman[d] that employers benefitting from these investments follow strong labor standards and remain neutral when their employees seek to organize a union and bargain collectively.” This alludes to potential disqualification or rescission of contracts if a contractor is found to be “anti-labor” – sending a message that the current administration may be willing to “move” business if employee practices are deemed unacceptable.
I recommend watching the trajectory of the Act to determine how the final version impacts the workplace. Feel free to reach out to me to discuss.
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Theodora Stringham assists individuals, businesses, and organizations with growing successfully while minimizing liability. Focusing on real estate and personnel needs, Ms. Stringham executes sustainable plans for real estate development and employee matters. She provides comprehensive representation for everyday growth issues, including, but not limited to, re-zonings, site plan approvals, eminent domain/valuation concerns, employment discrimination, and disciplinary issues. Ms. Stringham’s scope of representation ranges from identifying potential liability and providing counseling/trainings, all the way through representation at trial.
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