New Labor Secretary, NLRB Point to More Activist Workplace Regulation

From TLNT, one of my first reads each day, along with EHS Today and the WSL.  I’m always flattered to be picked up by folks of this caliber.

New Labor Secretary, NLRB Point to More Activist Workplace Regulation

by on Jul 19, 2013, 11:20 AM  |  0 Comments
Thomas Perez

By Howard Mavity

Yesterday (July 18), the U.S. Senate confirmed the new Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, and new EPA Director Gina McCarthy.

Along with two newly nominated Democrats who will be members of the National Labor Relations Board, the signs suggest that we may see an even more activist administration in labor, employment and safety matters.

New Secretary of Labor Perez is a former tough litigator and deal-maker from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Based on his record, we seriously doubt that he will be as ineffectual as the previous Labor Secretary. Expect yet more support for OSHA‘s emphasis on whistle blowing claims, and for such claims in all Department of of Labor agencies.

New NLRB members will accelerate new policies

I also suspect that we may see more aggressive creation of policy through “interpretations” and an even heavier Federal involvement in State-OSHA plans. While much of the criticism leveled at EPA nominee McCarthy seemed directed more toward the EPA generally, some lawmakers thought Thomas Perez was too activist.

(Continue reading at TLNT).

About mavity2012

I am a Senior Partner operating out of the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the Nation’s oldest and largest management employment and labor firms. My practice is national and keeps me on the road or in one of our 28 offices about 50 percent of the time. I created and co-chair the Firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. I have almost 29 years of experience as a labor lawyer, but rely even more heavily on the experience I gained in working in my family's various businesses, and through dealing with practical client issues. Employers tell me that they seldom meet an attorney who delivers on his promise to provide practical guidance and to be a business partner. As a result, some executives probably use different terms than “practical” to describe my fellow travelers in the profession. I don't enjoy the luxury of being impractical because I spend much of my time on shop floors and construction sites dealing with safety, union and related issues which are driven by real world processes and the need to protect and get the most out of one's most important business assets ... its employees. That's one of the reasons that I view safety compliance as a way to also manage problem employees, reduce litigation and develop the type of work environment that makes unions unnecessary. Starting out dealing with union-management challenges and a stint in the NLRB have better equipped me to see the interrelationship of legal and workplace factors. I am proud also of my experience at Fisher & Phillips, where providing “practical advice” is second only to legal excellence among the Firm’s values. Our website lists me as having provided counsel for over 225 occasions of union activity, guided unionized companies, and as having managed approximately 450 OSHA fatality cases in construction and general industry, ranging from dust explosions to building collapses, in virtually every state. I have coordinated complex inspections involving multi-employer sites, corporate-wide compliance, and issues involving criminal referral. As a full labor lawyer, I oversee audits of corporate labor, HR, and safety compliance. I have responded to virtually every type of day-to-day workplace inquiry, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, and numerous other state and federal agencies. At F & P, all of us seek to spot issues and then rely upon attorneys in the Firm who concentrate on those areas. No tunnel vision. I teach or speak around 50 times per year to business associations, bar and professional groups, and to individual businesses. I serve on safety committees at three states’ AGC Chapters, teach at the AGC ASMTC
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