Posts in Politics.

What are you grateful for this year? Here is my list.

The feds are talking about NLRB-EEOC coordination, an end to collection of compensation data, and an inflation-indexed salary test for the overtime exemption. Here's the scoop.

We have a new General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board!

Asserting that the U.S. Department of Justice “must interpret Title VII as written by Congress,” the DOJ is reversing the Obama-era interpretation of Title VII, taking the position that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

In a memorandum issued this week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the DOJ formally withdrew a 2014 memorandum by then-Attorney General Eric Holder taking the contrary position.

Attorney General Sessions contends that transgender individuals are protected from discrimination based on sex, but not based on “gender identity per se.” He noted that Title VII refers only to discrimination based on “sex,” which is “ordinarily defined to mean biologically male or female.” He also noted that Congress had specifically referred to gender identity in other contexts, indicating that it would have done so in Title VII had that been its intent. Finally, he said that Title VII did not prohibit treatment “that [took] account of the sex of employees but [did] not impose different burdens on similarly situated members of each sex,” specifically referencing sex-specific bathrooms.

The memorandum concludes as follows:

The Justice Department must and will continue to affirm the dignity of all people, including transgender individuals. Nothing in this memorandum should be construed to condone mistreatment on the basis of gender identity, or to express a policy view on whether Congress should amend Title VII to provide different or additional protections. Nor does this memorandum remove or reduce the protections against discrimination on the basis of sex that Congress has provided all individuals, including transgender individuals, under Title VII. . . . The Department of Justice has vigorously enforced [federal laws specifically protecting transgender individuals], and will continue to do so, on behalf of all Americans, including transgender Americans.

The DOJ position is not a surprise, given that it recently submitted a “friend of the court” brief making roughly the same arguments in a sexual orientation discrimination case.

Must-see ConstangyTV! The September edition of ConstangyTV’s “Close-Up on Workplace Law” is on YouTube, and you will not want to miss it. Host Leigh Tyson talks with Jon Yarbrough about social media in the workplace, including social media horror stories and what employers can do about them, the restrictions that have been imposed on social media policies by the National Labor Relations Board, and how that might change now that we have a Republican majority on the Board. To save you a long, grueling trip to our YouTube site, here it is:

Trump’s 8 zillionth* travel ban: what employers need to know. President Trumpissued a new travel ban “proclamation” on Sunday, and the excellent Will Krasnow of our Boston Office has read it and explains it all for us in this Immigration Dispatch.

*I might be exaggerating.

Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by Jelene Morris.

Management-side labor attorney William Emanuel was confirmed by the Senate today as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Emanuel’s confirmation gives the Republicans a 3-2 majority on the Board.

However, Republican Chairman Philip Miscimarra has announced that he will not seek a second term when his current term expires in December, which means the GOP lead will soon return to a tie until the President has a chance to appoint a successor.

With President Trump in office for nine months now, it is hard to believe that none of his people are yet on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The four currentCommissioners, including the Acting Chair, Republican Victoria Lipnic, and former Chair Jenny Yang, were all appointed by President Obama.

But that may change soon. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held hearings this week on the nominations of Janet Dhillon for EEOC Chair and Daniel Gade for EEOC Commissioner.

(The Senate confirmation vote for William Emanuel, whose nomination as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board has been pending for quite some time, is expected to take place imminently.)

Here’s what we have learned about Ms. Dhillon and Dr. Gade from this week’s HELP Committee testimony, according to an article in Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Labor Report:

Just in time for Labor Day . . . the new Executive Labor Summary is out! Our favorite labor 

commentator, David Phippen of our Washington DC-Metro Office, is his usual bad* self, with the latest of President Trump’s nominees and appointees to the National Labor Relations Board, a court’s “joint employer” decision that may indicate where the now-Republican Board will end up on this issue, the UAW defeat at Nissan in Mississippi, union-related scandals at the U.S. Postal Service and between Chrysler and the UAW, and — a pro-union vote at a chain of erotica shops in New York. (Leave it to David to make labor relations sexy.) Oh, and I almost forgot – a herd of goats taking union jobs in Michigan.

*By “bad,” I mean “awesome.”

Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by Jelene Morris. 

NOTE FROM ROBIN: Last night, I posted briefly that the EEOC’s requirement, starting next March 31, that employers include compensation data in their annual EEO-1 reports had been suspended. We now have more information, and I have drafted a client bulletin that will go out this afternoon. Because the blog subscription and bulletin subscription lists are not identical, I’m ...

Bloomberg BNA reported last night that President Trump plans to nominate management-side labor attorney Peter Robb to become General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, replacing Richard Griffin, whose term expires this fall.

Mr. Robb is a partner with the Vermont law firm Downs Rachlin Martin, PLLC. (I don't know Mr. Robb, but another (now former) Downs Rachlin attorney ...

Robin Shea has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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