News & Commentary

November 7, 2017

The House of Representatives convened last night to consider the Save Local Business Act. The Rules Committee voted 9-2 for the proposed legislation.  If passed, the bill would narrow the definition of joint employer.  The legislation would limit an employer’s liability under the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.  Employers would be liable for the actions of employees if they exerted significant control over the terms and conditions of the worker’s employment.  The Save Local Business Act would effectively overturn the NLRB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, which established a broader definition of joint employer.  Business owners have challenged the NLRB’s broader definition of joint employer ever since the 2015 decision.  The House is scheduled to vote on the bill today.

Three Republican Representatives introduced the Workflex in the 21st Century Act late last week.  The legislation would establish an employer-sponsored federal paid leave program.  The bill would exempt employers from state paid leave laws if they offered a federally established minimum of paid leave and some type of flexible working arrangement.  Employees would have to meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify for both paid leave and flexible schedule arrangements.  The bill also includes requirements for paid days off based on the size of the company and the amount of time the employee has worked for a company.

 Princeton University, a Princeton student, and Microsoft have filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  DACA extends legal protections and work authorizations, renewed every two years, to undocumented immigrants who entered the country when they were under the age of 16.  The Trump administration announced its intention to rescind the Obama-era executive order in early September; the rollback will be fully enforced beginning in March.  The lawsuit alleges that the Trump Administration’s actions violate the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guarantee, and the Administrative Procedure Act.  In the complaint, Microsoft discusses the ways in which the company has benefitted from DACA.  Microsoft and its subsidiary, LinkedIn, have employed at least 45 DACA recipients across departments.  Microsoft asserts that DACA has provided highly skilled employees and increased diversity.  Microsoft is one of many large corporations, such as IBM, Facebook, and Verizon, to voice its support for DACA.

Women and men from across the advertising industry gathered in New York for the sixth annual 3% Conference.  The conference, named for a 2008 statistic that claimed only 3% of creative directors at elite advertising agencies were women, examines the hardships women and people of color in the advertising industry face.  Sessions focused on the treatment of women within the advertising industry, as well as the industry’s lukewarm response to women’s grievances about the hostile work environments they often encounter.  According to the 3% Movement, the percentage of female creative directors has gone from 3% in 2008 to 11% in more recent years.

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