U.S. Supreme Court Takes On Obama Labor Board & Department

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT: Ryan Williams June 20, 2016                                                                                            202-677-7060

U.S. Supreme Court Takes On Obama Labor Board & Department

Nation’s Highest Court “Rap[s]” Labor Department & Agrees To Hear Case Invalidating NLRB Official’s Tenure

Washington, D.C. – The United States Supreme Court acted on two separate measures today related to the Obama Administration and the extreme lengths they have gone to reward union bosses at the expense of hardworking employees and employers:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has served as the largest check on an out-of-control executive branch hell bent on paying back labor bosses for campaign support and contributions,” said Heather Greenaway, spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).  “Today, the nation’s highest court decided to hear a case concerning whether Lafe Solomon, former general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board, should not have continued to serve in an acting capacity during his nomination process.  Solomon repeatedly demonstrated a complete lack of integrity during his tenure with the so-called independent agency issuing a false and meritless complaint against Boeing for opening a plant in a right-to-work state, being cited after an internal investigation for remaining involved in a case in which he had a conflict of interest, and continuing communications with fellow Board members on cases he was prosecuting in direct contravention of the obligations of the office he was holding.  The court in a strongly supported ruling today also went after Obama’s Department of Labor for changes in overtime pay rules ‘rap[ping]’ the agency known for carrying union bosses’ water and it’s ‘defective’ decision making.  This is more proof that the White House and its allies have long turned their back on workers and small businesses, while using their immense powers to advance policies that benefit a special interest to the detriment of our economy and jobs.”

BACKGROUND:

Reuters: “U.S. Justices To Mull President’s Power To Nominate Officials”:

“The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to review a lower court decision that invalidated part of a former U.S. labor board official’s tenure, in a case that could curb the next president’s power to staff top positions in his or her administration.  The justices will hear an appeal of a 2015 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit saying that once President Barack Obama nominated Lafe Solomon in 2011 to be general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Solomon should not have continued to fill the position on a temporary or ‘acting’ basis pending Senate confirmation.  The appeals court said a 1998 federal law bars anyone from serving in an acting role while they are the nominee unless they were previously the ‘first assistant’ to that post.” (Robert Iafolla, “U.S. Justices To Mull President’s Power To Nominate Officials,” Reuters, 6/20/16)

The Associated Press: “Justices Rap Labor Dept. Over Change In Overtime Pay Rules”:

“The Supreme Court says the Labor Department must do a better job of explaining why it is changing a longstanding policy on whether certain workers deserve overtime pay.  The justices on Monday asked a lower court to take another look at whether federal law allows the agency to require overtime pay for people working as service advisers at auto dealerships.  The 6-2 ruling comes in a case involving a California auto dealer that claims its service advisers are similar to car salesmen or mechanics, who are exempt from overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” (“Justices Rap Labor Dept. Over Change In Overtime Pay Rules,” The Associated Press, 6/20/16)

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

 

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Obama’s NLRB Continues Assault On Employers

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 CONTACT: Ryan Williams
June 16, 2016                                                                               202-677-7060

Obama’s NLRB Continues Assault On Employers

Washington, D.C. – The Obama Administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has continued its assault on employers with several significant decisions that have boosted unions at the expense of business owners. A pair of recent decisions, combined with a court decision upholding a previous and controversial NLRB ruling, threaten to significantly curtail the rights of both workers and job creators, and increase the cost of doing business.

The recent decisions include:

1. American Baptist Homes of the West (May 31): The board issued a decision that will have a chilling impact on employers’ who want to exercise their right to hire permanent replacement workers during a strike. This ruling subjects employers to the risk of significant back pay liability if there is any evidence that the employer was motivated to hire the replacements to punish the union and/or avoid future strikes. In addition to a few employer statements, the Board relied on the fact that it cost the employer more to hire the replacements than it would have to accept the union’s proposals.

2. Seventh Circuit upholds Jacob Lewis v Epic Systems (May 26): The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued the first federal appellate court decision that upholds the NLRB’s position that mandatory employment arbitration agreements that require employees to waive the right to engage in class or collective actions in court violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This ruling directly contradicts a 2013 ruling issued by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and is inconsistent with decisions reached on this issue by the Second and the Eighth Circuits.

3. Hogan Transports Inc. (May 19): The board found it was a violation of the NLRA when the company’s president told employees that their jobs might be lost if they voted to unionize. The president’s statement was in response to an employee’s question and after the president told employees that he was told by their long-term customer for whom they make deliveries that it does not have any union company doing deliveries for it and the president knows they do not like to operate in a union atmosphere. Board law is that whatever an employer says to his employees about unionization must be based on objective facts, not his opinion as to what may happen. The president’s statements to employees were supported by objective facts he detailed in his testimony. The Board ignored that testimony demonstrating there is only so much truth this Board will allow employees to hear.

Reaction:

“These decisions are a gift to union bosses from their acolytes on Obama’s National Labor Relations Board. They will negatively impact job creators and limit employment opportunities for working Americans,” said Heather Greenaway, spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI). “Hiring permanent replacements is a step that is rarely implemented because employers do not want to lose experienced workers. The effectiveness of it is its availability, which the Board has now restricted. The law, however, balances the employees’ right to strike with the employer’s right to hire replacement workers and continue in business. These countervailing approaches incentivize parties to settle their differences making an economically damaging strike less likely to occur. These are harmful rulings that will likely require court action to reverse, but nevertheless continue the job-killing campaign undertaken by President Obama’s so-called independent agency.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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WFI Applauds Speaker Paul Ryan’s Deregulation Agenda

WFI

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        CONTACT: Ryan Williams
June 14, 2016                                                                                     202-677-7060

WFI Applauds Speaker Paul Ryan’s Deregulation Agenda

Washington, D.C. – The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) today applauds Speaker Paul Ryan’s newly unveiled deregulation agenda, entitled “A Better Way: Our Vison for a Confident America,” and his pledge to hold the rogue National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accountable to workers and employers.

“For far too long, the power of Obama’s National Labor Relations Board has remained unchecked,” said Heather Greenaway, spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute. “Over the past eight years, the NLRB has enacted rulings that tip the scales in favor of union bosses and dramatically overhaul decades of established labor policies. Enough is enough. I thank Speaker Ryan for his commitment to overturn the NLRB’s extreme anti-worker agenda, and restore policies that protect the rights of hardworking Americans and small business owners. We appreciate him making this a Congressional priority.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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WFI Applauds Introduction Of Senate Resolution To Block Department Of Labor’s Excessive Overtime Rule

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  CONTACT: Ryan Williams
June 7, 2016                                                                                           202-677-7060

WFI Applauds Introduction Of Senate Resolution To Block Department Of Labor’s Excessive Overtime Rule

Washington, D.C. – Today, Heather Greenaway with the Workforce Fairness Institute applauded Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander for introducing a resolution that would block the Department of Labor’s recently released overtime rule.

“The Department of Labor’s excessive overtime rule is yet another example of the Obama Administration’s egregious overreach into labor policies and we applaud Senator Alexander for introducing a resolution to block it.  This new overtime rule will end up hurting the very people it’s intended to help: entry-level workers, students and non-profits.  Mandating overtime pay for such a drastically increased salary threshold will thwart upward mobility and set an artificial ceiling on salaried workers.  This decision will cause many small businesses to declassify their salaried employees, leading to the elimination of benefits and the loss of professional status. The Workforce Fairness Institute remains committed to fighting this rule, which will have lasting repercussions on our country’s workforce.  It’s time for every United States Senator to stand up for workers and support this common sense resolution.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcef.airness.com

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

 

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Yet Again, Big Government Interferes With Growth And Jobs

Yet Again, Big Government Interferes With Growth And Jobs

Townhall
Heather Greenaway
5/25/2016

Millions of salaried workers are now in danger of losing their professional status and potential for upward mobility, with last week’s Department of Labor release of the final federal overtime rule. The Obama Administration has been no friend to the business community, advocating for a myriad of job-killing regulations and changing decades of defined labor policies, but this might be the most egregious overreach yet. The rule, which raises the salary threshold for workers who qualify for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476 – an increase of more than 100 percent – is yet another example of the administration’s out-of-touch view of the needs of America’s workforce.

Hurting the very people it is intended help – with entry-level professional employees and non-profit employees burdened the most – the new rule stunts workers’ professional growth, while also creating a massive regulatory burden on employers, who will be required to oversee careful timekeeping or open themselves up to lawsuits. A simple email response sent or phone call taken after normal business hours will now have to be tracked as time on the job.

The overtime rule sets an artificial ceiling on salaried workers, and will cause many small businesses to declassify their salaried employees and eliminate benefits with the loss of professional status. Expect to see a hollowing out of mid-level positions as employers transition roles to covered employees or part-time help.

Aspiring professionals will be disadvantaged by this rule the most. While current college graduates and other entry level employees are generally advised to prove their value by working hard to climb the professional ladder, this usually involves taking on extra projects and working longer hours to prove their worth. But this policy, by limiting the number of hours they can work weekly, interferes with an individual’s ability to determine their own career goals and choices. Entry- and mid-level salaried employees at issue were hired to fulfill a professionalized role, not an hourly job. You simply can’t view their role through the same lens as you would a factory worker or fast-food server who clocks in and out every day for an hourly wage – many professional jobs require more than the typical nine to five.

Expect flexibility in the workplace to acutely be impacted, as well. Salaried workers are often given more flexibility to complete their responsibilities, with specific hours mattering less, as long as the job gets done. But workers who have enjoyed flexibility in the past, like the 16 to 25 million Americans who telecommute at least once a month, will likely see those options eliminated thanks to the new rule. And the Department of Labor’s failure to take into account regional differences, even though a $47,000 salary has a much greater spending power in Pierre, South Dakota than it does in Washington, D.C., could deal a crippling blow to professionals in rural areas.

Economists and labor policy experts have studied the impacts of overtime requirements on businesses, and have found time and again that companies offset new overtime costs with the lowering of base wages. In fact, a recent report by Anthony Barkume, Senior Research Economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Office of Compensation and Working Conditions, calculated that workers pay for 80 percent of overtime costs through cuts in their base wages.

So if increasing wages wasn’t the Obama Administration’s goal, what was?

According to the text of the rule, the two policy objectives outlined are to “spread employment … by incentivizing employers to hire more employees rather than require existing employees to work longer hours,” and to “reduce overwork and its detrimental effect on the health and well-being of workers.” Workers want to work more, not less. They want to rise through the ranks in search of the American Dream, not have their potential hindered by big government controlling the lives of individuals.

A one size fits all approach to labor policies is incredibly misguided and will have ramifications across our entire economy. Republican leaders in Congress are already working to pass legislation nullifying the overtime rule, the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act. Let’s hope they succeed, and soon, before the American workplace is permanently changed for the worse.

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WFI Reacts To Department Of Labor’s Excessive Overtime Rule

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  CONTACT: Ryan Williams
May 18, 2016                                                                                         202-677-7060

WFI Reacts To Department Of Labor’s Excessive Overtime Rule

Washington, D.C. – Today, Heather Greenaway with the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) issued the following statement expressing disappointment with the finalized overtime rule released by the Department of Labor:

“In yet another example of the Obama Administration’s egregious overreach into labor policies, this new overtime rule will end up hurting the very people it’s intended to help: entry-level workers, students and non-profits.  Mandating overtime pay for such a drastically increased salary threshold will thwart upward mobility and set an artificial ceiling on salaried workers.  This decision will cause many small businesses to declassify their salaried employees, leading to the elimination of benefits and the loss of professional status.  Further, the Department of Labor’s failure to take into account regional differences will unduly burden workers in rural areas.  A one-size-fits all approach to overtime policy is incredibly misguided and it’s unfortunate that the Obama Administration continues to make rash decisions to the detriment of American workers.  The Workforce Fairness Institute remains committed to fighting this rule, which will have lasting repercussions on our country’s workforce.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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New Video Highlights Union Hypocrisy on Minimum Wage

A new video produced by the Workforce Fairness Institute highlights the hypocrisy by big labor bosses when it comes to raising the minimum wage.

It’s almost hard to believe that big labor would want to exempt themselves from the very laws that they fight so hard to impose on businesses throughout the country. But, then again, should we really be surprised?

Big labor has a history of hypocrisy.

Check out our latest video below.

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The NLRB: Government agency gone rogue

The Hill
By Peter Schaumber
The Obama National Labor Relations Board continues its unrelenting effort to expand union power over the workplace. Already, the board has stripped workers of their right to challenge by a secret ballot election their employer’s recognition of a union based on a questionable card check; mandated rushed elections—the so-called “Ambush Election” rule—that eliminates the time necessary for employees to hear the other side of the union story and authorized the creation of unprecedented small bargaining units—the groups of employees represented by a union—which will give unions quick easy access into an employer but threatens to balkanize the workplace.

Now, last August, it did what the former Clinton board refused to do: it roped in for union organizing millions of U.S. companies, large and small, in all segments of the economy that increasingly go outside the traditional employment model and contract with specialized service companies to perform a function such as providing temporary help, a building security or janitorial service, or making a part.

Contracting out has become an important tool for small and large businesses. It allows producers to focus on their core competencies, increase productivity and improve efficiency. It has spawned the creation of tens of thousands of service companies creating millions of jobs.

Frustrated by the loss of an economy dominated by manufacturing and large companies, unions view contracting out as inhibiting their ability to organize. For a union, a larger battle in one locale is easier and less expensive to fight than multiple smaller ones. Big Labor has been clamoring for a change.

In perhaps its most reckless and irresponsible decision to date, the Obama board delivered one.

It made the producer an employer of its service company’s employees—liable for the service company’s unfair labor practices and obligated to bargain with a union representing the service company’s employees over the terms of the service contract.

The majority eliminated long-standing common sense requirements that an employer had to exercise “meaningful,” “direct” control over an essential term and condition of employment. Now, indirect control, however tangential, over terms previously considered non-essential will be sufficient. These are contract provisions routinely used to protect the workplace, and make sure the producer gets what it is paying for, such as: a cost-plus contract price, a description of the general nature of the work to be performed, the number of workers to perform it, minimum job qualifications and the removal from the workplace of a worker for misconduct such as taking illicit drugs.

The decision will cause significant harm to U.S. business and cost countless jobs.

A key ingredient to economic growth, flexible labor, will be less available as unions add temporary workers to a producer’s regular workforce. The benefits of using specialized service companies as an aid in production will be greatly outweighed by a collective bargaining obligation that could result in the producer having to bargain away its ability to contract with a different service company or to cut down on workers it no longer needs. And the unions, of course, will use the bargaining table to gain access to the producer’s other employees and for leverage in the effort to organize the balance of the producer’s employees.

Unions and their allies defend this expanded standard because of the alleged economic disparity between temporary and regular workers: temporary workers are generally paid less and receive fewer benefits than regular workers. But lower pay and fewer benefits are typical of temporary work. Temporaries at the Obama Department of Labor receive fewer benefits than its regular workers. The differential in pay and benefits makes temporary work affordable for the employer and is made up for by opportunities regular work does not provide, such as, an immediate job without a job search, training, experience in different industries, and control over career.

This is not to gloss over the serious social problem that exists when a large percentage of temporary workers (70 percent find permanent work within a year) are locked into lower-paid temporary work or when an employer’s immoral desire for excessive gain causes it to take advantage of its temporary workforce. But the unavailability of permanent work for some and the shameful avarice of others is insufficient reason for a government agency to ignore the common sense limits built into the law it is charged with administering and issuing a decision that goes far beyond the problem showcased to justify it.

The reach of the board’s joint employer ruling makes its consequences even more alarming. The new “employer” standard is about to be applied to the relationship between franchisors and their franchisees, threatening to destabilize whole industries that rely on entrepreneurs to open independent businesses to sell their products.

The board acquiesces only to decisions of the Supreme Court. As a result, it will take years for this issue to be resolved using the judicial process. In the meantime, an untold number of businesses and their employees will be harmed. Congressional riders have been added to the 2016 omnibus spending bill that will block implementation of this recent decision as well as the Ambush Election rule. These are important riders that should not be eliminated.

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