Short video on the Sharing Economy
February 09, 2017
The sharing economy is changing the nature of work, yet it doesn’t fit clearly within laws governing labor and employment. In this short documentary, policy experts, lawyers, and sharing economy workers weigh in on the debate over "contractors v. employees" and what kind of protections workers need in this new economy. Labor and Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
In 1957, an article in the Stanford Law Review asked the question: can counties and cities pass right to work ordinances under the Taft-Hartley Amendments to the National Labor Relations Act? The law explicitly allowed states to prohibit "agency-shop" contracts, but did not clearly address subdivisions of states. This question of federal preemption was addressed by courts only three times in more than fifty years. In that time, twenty-six states have passed statewide right to work laws. But recently, Hardin County in Kentucky passed, and the federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld, a local right-to-work ordinance. Consequently, this sleeper issue may be hugely important in "purple" states across the country.Our panel of labor law and federalism experts talked about the law and politics of local right to work laws.
- Mr. Andrew R. Kloster, Attorney, Washington, DC
- Mr. James Sherk, Research Fellow in Labor Economics, The Heritage Foundation
- Prof. Ariana R. Levinson, Professor of Law, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
- Moderator: Mr. Raymond J. LaJeunesse Jr., Vice President & Legal Director, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
2016 was a big year for labor and employment law. In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a deadlocked Supreme Court allowed a lower court ruling to stand, denying a First Amendment challenge to mandatory union dues. Meanwhile, President Obama’s Department of Labor released a new overtime regulation which would more than double the maximum salary required for exemption from overtime pay. The implementation of the regulation was halted just a few days before going into effect by a nationwide injunction by a federal district court judge.
With 2017 ahead and the general election behind, our experts discussed the future of labor law under the Trump administration.
Litigation and Labor & Employment Practice Groups Podcast
- Mr. David S. Fortney, Co-founder,Fortney & Scott, LLC
- Brent Garren, Deputy General Counsel, Local 32 BJ, Service Employees International Union
- John S. Irving, Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
In May, the Department of Labor announced a new overtime regulation, which would require all employers to pay overtime to their salaried employees who make under $47,476 annually. The rule was set to take effect on December 1, 2016. However, 21 states filed suit against the federal government claiming that the rule violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and states’ rights by increasing the overtime threshold, which was $23,660 under the FLSA, so drastically and by setting automatic increases to the threshold every three years. The states argue the rule will decrease full-time employment while increasing unemployment and will burden state governments unlawfully under the 10th Amendment by forcing them to conform to the new regulations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business groups also filed their own suit against the law. The cases were consolidated.
On November 16, Judge Mazzant of the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas heard the states' motion for a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the rule. On November 22, Judge Mazzant granted the states’ motion and issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Department of Labor from implementing and enforcing the new rule. Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke, Michael Hancock of Cohen Milstein, and Jesse Panuccio of Foley & Larner LLP joined us to discuss the court's ruling and the future of the overtime rule under the new administration.
2016 National Lawyers Convention
- Mr. Lawrence Van Dyke, Solicitor General of Nevada
- D. Michael Hancock, Of Counsel, Cohen Milstein
- Jesse Panuccio, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
The “gig" or “on demand" economy may be the fastest growing segment of our economy, with 22.4 million consumers spending $56.6 billion annually. By 2020, according to some studies, 7.6 million Americans will be working as independent contractors in the gig economy. At the same time, however, the U.S. Department of Labor has narrowed standards for classifying workers as independent contractors, and entered enforcement partnerships with 30 States looking to find misclassified independent contractors in order to increase workers' compensation, unemployment and employment tax revenue. A battle has begun between regulators and entrepreneurs, between independent contractor and employee status. This panel will explore who should win, who will win, and whether there is a third way – creating a new legal category, the “independent worker," for those who occupy the grey area between employee and independent contractor.
This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.
Labor & Employment Law: The Battle for the Gig Economy
1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
- Hon. Mark Brnovich, Attorney General, Arizona
- Mr. Mark Floyd, Senior Director and Global Relations Lead, Uber Technologies Inc.
- Mr. Randel K. Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Mr. Bill Samuel, Director of Government Affairs, AFL-CIO
- Moderator: Hon. Thomas M. Hardiman, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
The Mayflower Hotel