LEL Flash | Issue: September 2013

FLASH header

Flash Co-Chairs: Jeremy J Glenn, Meckler Bulger et al | Elana Hollo, National Labor Relations Board | Monique Gougisha Doucette, Ogletree Deakins | Amy F. Shulman, Broach & Stulberg LLP

Issue: September 2013

Comments from the Chair

"Whoa, what a conference!"

These are the glowing words about our November conference that came to the Section in the past few days. The 7th Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference will be in New Orleans from November 6 to 9. The registrations received to date show that we are well on track to have very good attendance at this conference. This year, the 319 speakers and moderators will present a wide range of topics of great interest to members of our key constituencies--union, employer, employee, neutral and government.

These presentations will follow our tradition of well-balanced programs designed to reflect our diverse membership. Three plenary sessions will cover the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, and work-life balance and equality issues in the workplace. Our many panel presentations will cover a wide range of areas in our profession: alternative dispute resolution; discrimination and retaliation; employee benefits; ethical, practical and technological issues in managing a labor and employment law practice; tips on cross examination from the very entertaining and highly educational videotapes of . . . [more]

Special Feature

Proposed Final Rules Announced for Federal Contractor Recruiting and Employment of Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities

Federal contractors, i.e., companies that do business with the federal government in any one of many ways, learned on August 27, 2013 that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) intends to publish in the Federal Register proposed final regulations affecting the recruitment and employment of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. The new regulations, when they go into effect, will heighten affirmative action requirements for federal contractors under section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. §793) and section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 U.S.C. §4212). This would have a huge impact . . . [more]

Annual Section Conference News

Three Views of the Conference

First-Time Attendee:
Thinking of attending the 7th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference in New Orleans?

After many years in practice, in 2012 I attended my first ABA Labor and Employment Section Conference in Atlanta. A born cynic (and tightwad!), I doubted whether the significant investment of time and effort necessary for me to attend would yield tangible benefits. Despite reassurances from colleagues and friends, I secretly wondered how it would be possible to effectively manage a conference attended by . . . [more]

Views from Long-Time Attendees:

In November, I will attend the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law's annual conference for the fourth time. In addition to the educational benefits offered by the exceptional programming, the ABA annual conference has provided me with invaluable networking opportunities, leadership experience and, most importantly, lasting friendships. For any L&E lawyer who has never attended this conference (especially younger lawyers), here are three reasons why you should strongly consider it: [more]

Plenary Previews

The ACA: Find Out What's Next

Every day there's a different news story. It's working; it's not working. It will be ready for an October 1 rollout or it's going to crash and burn. It's a terrible deal for individuals because it will cost a lot of money; it's a good deal for individuals because it will provide cost-effective better coverage. Employers are covering individuals because they don't want to pay the tax; employers are finding a way to eliminate positions or reduce hours to avoid paying penalties. You guessed it--we're talking about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

At the 7th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference in New Orleans, one panel of experts will provide a high-level explanation of the objectives of the Act and how its pieces fit together. We are thrilled to have among our experts Phyllis C. Borzi, the current Assistant Secretary of Labor, who heads up the Employee Benefits Security Administration. That division within the Department of Labor, along with the Department of Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services, are responsible for administering the ACA.

The panel will evaluate the impact of the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion as well as pending litigation on contraceptive services and tax subsidies. The panel will discuss the ACA's substantive market reforms as well as explore the interplay between the individual and small business exchanges and tax subsidies. The panel will hit the highlights of employer play-or-pay and address up-to-the-minute wellness issues raised by the ACA. Finally, the panel will touch on necessary disclosures and examine the new appeals process applicable to denied benefit claims.

We look forward to answering questions from the audience to promote a full understanding of the Act. We hope that the audience finds this overview a helpful underpinning for the other substantive sessions on the ACA: "Current Status and What is to Come," "Employer Responses and Litigation Trends," and "Compliance," all of which are offered at the Conference on Thursday, November 7.

Mary Ellen Signorille is a Senior attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation.

Workplace Equality Issues

This panel of veteran lawyers representing each of the Section's four constituencies--union, employer, employee and government/public--will discuss the reasons some workers, mostly women, are holding themselves back from continuing their careers or advancing to more senior positions. These are issues that workers and employers face every day in this country and are not limited to the corporate office. Single mothers working in low pay jobs have at least the same kinds of child care and parental care issues as do executives working in much higher paid positions. This may not simply be a cultural matter but also one involving implicit biases and structural barriers that are imposed in the workplace or elsewhere.

The employment gap has significant implications for equality in the workplace, and the panelists' discussion will focus on how law firms and companies have created more flexible hours and workplaces to accommodate female and male workers who face internal as well as impersonal and cultural obstacles, maternal walls and caregiving responsibilities. As the advocacy on behalf of women is generated to increase their prominence and their wage levels in companies, there are legal issues that arise with respect to their requests and company responses. The panel also will explore legal theories, such as Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, that employees may be using to challenge their employers in these areas.

Joel A. D'Alba is a partner in the Chicago law firm, Asher, Gittler and D'Alba Ltd.

Conference Program Highlights

The Annual Section Conference has a curriculum that covers a full range of labor and employment law topics. In this and upcoming issues, the Conference Planning Committee will highlight programs of special interest to attendees at the 7th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference:

 

Don't Miss These Two Classic Section Treatises

The Railway Labor Act, Third Edition, with 2013 Supplement

A complete, specialized resource on the structure and case law of the Railway Labor Act, the Third Edition incorporates the perspectives of management, union, and neutrals into an authoritative, easy-to-use text. Including more than 1,200 cases, this treatise is designed for negotiators and advocates, and presents expert analysis on each topic relating to the RLA.

The 2013 Supplement contains citations to and discussion of notable judicial, administrative, and legislative developments, including 2012 amendments to the RLA, the D.C. Circuit's Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen v. Surface Transportation Board decision; the NMB's election interference decisions in cases arising from the merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines; decisions addressing the interplay between claims under ERISA and the exclusive jurisdiction of RLA System Boards of Adjustment over minor disputes; and the D.C. Circuit's decision in Air Transport Association v. National Mediation Board.

This treatise is published in cooperation with the Section's Committee on Railway and Airline Labor Law.

Elkouri & Elkouri: How Arbitration Works, Seventh Edition

The Seventh Edition provides in-depth coverage of critical topics, including arbitrators' consideration of external law in labor arbitration, legislation and litigation developing standards for evidentiary privilege as it relates to union shop stewards, arbitrators' views on threats and violence, reconsideration of the continued viability of the plain meaning rule, new case law on the unauthorized practice of law as it relates to labor arbitration, and updated discussion of state and local government arbitration and interest arbitration in light of recent changes in state law.

The treatise includes a table of all arbitration awards discussed in text or cited in footnotes, a table of arbitrators, a table of statutory authorities, a table of cases with court and administrative cases, and a comprehensive index. Topics in the chapters are identified by Bloomberg BNA's Labor Arbitration Reports (LA) classification numbers, making it easier to do additional research in that arbitration award service.

This treatise is published in cooperation with the Committee on ADR in Labor and Employment Law .

Section members are entitled to significant discounts on this and other Section treatises published by ABA/Bloomberg BNA, including the following recent new editions: Employee Benefits Law, Third Edition, Employment Discrimination Law, Fifth Edition, and Covenants Not to Compete, A State-by-State Survey, Eighth Edition.

For a complete listing of Section titles and discounted prices, and to order, visit www.bna.com/bnabooks/abale.

Register today for the 7th Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference

Early deadline registration has passed, but the registration numbers keep increasing for the 7th Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference. Join us in New Orleans to find out what makes attendance at the Conference is so valuable to new, experienced, and seasoned practitioners in the field.

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