News & Commentary

January 29, 2024

Michelle Berger

Michelle Berger is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s News and Commentary: The UAW endorsed President Biden, gig platforms asked the Fifth Circuit to revive their old challenge to Biden’s worker classification law, and the Florida state legislature may respond to the challenging implementation of the state’s new anti-union law.

The UAW endorsed President Biden for president last week. In the days since, UAW President Shawn Fain has emphatically supported President Biden in public remarks on CBS and Fox. To Fox viewers, Fain made the case that “nowhere in history has Donald Trump ever stood with the American worker.” He cited examples ranging in time from Trump’s blaming the Great Recession on workers to Trump’s silence during the 40-day GM strike in 2019.

The Biden Department of Labor and a coalition of business groups are in a procedural battle in the Fifth Circuit over the groups’ challenge to the administration’s new worker classification rule. As Linh reported, the DOL published a final rule earlier this month that makes it more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors. Days later, a coalition of business groups that represent employers including Uber and DoorDash filed a motion in the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit decided in 2022 that the DOL violated the APA when it rescinded the Trump Administration’s worker classification rule, but stayed its decision to wait for the final rule. Now that the final rule has been announced, the business groups want the Fifth Circuit to revive the case in the original district court — even though that litigation challenged a different DOL rule. The Biden Administration is arguing that the original case is now moot.

Last spring, Florida’s state legislature enacted a law that will make it much harder for public sector unions in the state to survive. But the law’s roll-out has been bumpy, with legal challenges and confusion about the law’s requirements. The law even came to receive ire from some police unions — unions which the law exempted in an attempt to support — when it became evident that 911 dispatchers’ unions were affected. Now, Republicans in the Florida state legislature are considering implementing some fixes to the law that Democrat lawmakers championed in the first place.

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