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Today’s News & Commentary — December 15, 2017

Published December 15th, 2017 -

After loud resistance from Democrats, the FCC voted to repeal Obama-era rules requiring broadband providers to treat all internet traffic as equal. The New York Times reports the now-repealed Obama-era regulations regulated high-speed internet as if it were a utility, prohibiting providers from blocking certain websites or charging for select services or content. This decision, though expected, wa... More »

NLRB Overrules Browning-Ferris Industries

Published December 14th, 2017 -

Today in a 3-2 decision, the National Labor Relations Board overruled its 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries. Today’s decision means a return to the pre–Browning Ferris standard for joint-employer liability. Under this standard,  two or more entities will be deemed joint employers under the NLRA if there is proof one entity has “exercised control over essential employment term... More »

Today’s News & Commentary — December 14, 2017

Published December 14th, 2017 -

Walmart announced yesterday that it would allow its workers to take their pay before their payday.  Workers would be able to access the wages for hours which they have already worked before the 2-week pay period mark.  The new initiative is meant to help workers avoid costly payday loans and other debt traps.  The New York Times reports. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates yesterday for the ... More »

Janus’s Lawyers Want to Make a Federal Case Out of Every Public Employee Grievance

Published December 14th, 2017 -

The petitioner’s opening brief in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 contains many eyebrow-raising assertions, but one of the most audacious claims is that “enforcement of a collective bargaining agreement, such as through the grievance process, is just as political an act as bargaining for that deal.”  This one sweeping statement is practically all that Janus’s lawyers had to say regarding an entire body... More »

Today’s News and Commentary — December 13, 2017

Published December 13th, 2017 -

Tomorrow, the National Labor Relations Board will publish a Request for Information in the Federal Register, asking for public input regarding the Board’s 2014 “Quickie Election” Rule.  The amendments, which took effect on April 14, 2015, allowed union organizing to move at an accelerated pace by, among other things, significantly reducing the time between the filing of a representatio... More »

Janus Amicus Brief: American Center for Law & Justice

Published December 13th, 2017 -

The American Center for Law and Justice, a religiously oriented free speech advocacy organization, filed an amicus brief in Janus critiquing Professor Sachs Agency Fees and the First Amendment, 131 Harv. L. Rev. (forthcoming Feb. 2018) (summarized here).  Notably, the counsel of record on the brief (who is also ACLJ’s chief counsel) is one of President Trump’s personal lawyers, Jay Sek... More »

Janus Amicus Brief: Charles Fried & Robert Post

Published December 12th, 2017 -

Last week, First Amendment scholars Professors Charles Fried and Robert Post filed this amicus brief in Janus in support of neither party. On the one hand, Fried and Post worry that First Amendment “doctrines would be substantially undermined were this Court to accede to petitioner’s request categorically to hold public-sector agency fees unconstitutional under the First Amendment.R... More »

Today’s News and Commentary — December 12, 2017

Published December 12th, 2017 -

A piece at the New York Times profiles “disposable workers” in Europe.  Hundreds of thousands of these workers are recruited by agencies each year to perform cheap manual labor and service jobs (e.g. picking vegetables or pouring concrete).  The article details the low wage rates (the equivalent of just over $4 per hour) and the agencies’ total control over the labor supply chain... More »

Work-Related Distortions in the Proposed Tax Bills: Understanding the Policy Conversations (Part 2 of 2)

Published December 12th, 2017 -

This post follows up on our prior post, which focused on the complex provisions of the proposed Senate tax bill. This post discusses some of the key concerns that have been expressed about the new tax bill. (Again, we focus here on the Senate version of the proposed legislation. The specifics of the analysis may change once we get the Conference version, though the broader policy and design questi... More »

Work-Related Distortions in the Tax Reform Bills: Understanding the New Proposed Provisions (Part 1 of 2)

Published December 11th, 2017 -

The New York Times ran a piece on December 9, 2017, entitled “Tax Plans Might Give Your Co-Worker a Better Deal Than You.” The article highlights ways in which the proposed tax reforms (some in the House bill, some in the Senate bill) would draw new tax distinctions among workers, creating problematic and inequitable tax discontinuities. Specifically, the article makes a few key observations: More »

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