Section Expects Midwinter Meetings to Examine Obama Second Term Policy and Enforcement Priorities
There are few citizens more affected by a presidential election than lawyers who represent employers, unions and employees. The direction of the political winds in Washington has a major influence on American workplaces and the counselors and advocates who represent management and workers. The composition of the National Labor Relations Board, the regulatory agenda of the U.S. Department of Labor, the enforcement priorities of the Solicitor of Labor, NLRB, EEOC, OFCCP, OSHA, etc., often fluctuate when administrations change. Even when the president is re-elected, a second term sees consolidation of objectives and renewed zeal in prosecutions to achieve policy goals. When the results are in, one side looks forward to enjoying the fruits of its victory, while the other steels itself against the anticipated execution of campaign promises.
Many members of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law are politically active—on both sides of political campaigns. The Section itself is apolitical. Our mission is not to influence who will become our government's leaders or the officials of the agencies that regulate the workplace. Instead, we strive to collaborate with those in power to learn about their plans and agendas. The Section works hard to involve government attorneys in our programs, from the top decision makers and enforcement authorities to the lawyers who write the regulations and litigate the administrative complaints. Government lawyers are a key constituency of the Section, so we engage them not only in the numerous programs and activities that include the views of government lawyers, but also through our Outreach to Government Lawyers Committee and our Government Lawyers Fellowship Program. The function of our Government Lawyers Fellowship Program is to ensure that our standing committees includes government fellows who practice in the area covered by the committee, and the fellows join in committee programs, contribute to committee publications, and participate in committee activities. Our fellows are selected in cooperation with agency officials who help to identify agency lawyers who are interested in becoming active in the Section and capable of making substantive contributions. To find out more about our Government Fellowship Program, click here.
Shortly after President Obama's Inauguration for his second term in January 2012, the Section's Committee Midwinter Meetings will begin. Members are now receiving the announcements of the time and location of this year's 15 midwinter meetings, and the full schedule of meetings and meeting agendas can be viewed by clicking here. The agenda of each committee includes an examination of the controversies currently pending at the agencies relevant to their practice areas, and government officials and judges will be joining the committees to discuss recent developments and future priorities.
At this historic juncture, attendance at one or more Section Midwinter Meeting is essential for labor and employment lawyers who want to better understand the regulatory landscape and the direction of enforcement initiatives. These meetings also present a unique opportunity to meet and interact with the officials and lawyers who will be making the policies and enforcing the laws governing American workplaces.
Now is the time to register for our Midwinter Meetings. I hope to see you at a meeting.
Chair, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law
Francis Perkins Award