April 01, 2022

Labor and Employment Newsletter

3 min


Five Employment Law Remarks in President Biden's State of the Union Address

In his March 1, 2022 State of the Union Address, President Biden briefly touched upon a handful of employment reforms he is urging Congress to pass. This article is intended to help employers understand five of President Biden's remarks, summarize what those remarks referenced, and describe the status of potential legislation relating to them.

Back to the Future! The NLRB's Shifting Position on Employer Handbook Policies

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or "Board") is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which guarantees the rights of most private sector employees to organize and engage in group efforts to improve wages and working conditions. Like most federal agencies, the NLRB's agenda is often subject to change based on the political leanings of the president. Under the Trump administration, the NLRB adopted a more employer-friendly rule on employer policies, such as those found in employee handbooks and their effect on the exercise of NLRA rights (the "Boeing Rule"). However, with a pending decision and a Democratic-majority Board, many are speculating that the rule will morph once again, possibly back to the more restrictive standard from before the Trump administration (the "Lutheran Heritage Rule") or possibly to something even more restrictive. Read on to find out how you can be prepared for whatever is next on the horizon.

Education Roundup: Time to Rock the Vote? How Institutions of Higher Education Should Prepare for Supercharged Midterm Elections

It is no stretch to suggest that the upcoming midterm elections will be a hotbed of political activity across all spectrums. Each election cycle presents exciting opportunities for institutions of higher education (IHEs) and their students to become more civically engaged at the local, state, and federal levels. Whether by providing access to candidates and encouraging students to learn about their policy positions, or allowing students to organize voter registration drives, the college campus often provides a stage for election activity. Similarly, employees often seize upon the politically charged climate to make political statements, support candidates, or publish formal or informal writings. It can be difficult to detangle the web of laws and regulations that apply to political activity on campus. The following are some general rules that IHEs should keep in mind when addressing political activity on campus.

We Want to Hear from You

What legal issues are keeping you up at night?

We are continuing to monitor key trends and significant updates that affect employers across a wide variety of industries. We want to make sure we touch upon issues that are of concern to you. We invite you to take a moment and let us know what you would like to hear more about in this newsletter. Click below to email our team of attorneys.

Attorney Spotlight

Ashley SykesAshley Sykes: I began my career in labor and employment law because it was fulfilling to help employers address ever-changing legal issues that impact the lives of so many. Now, as a member of Venable’s Independent School Law Practice, I feel privileged to partner with schools and help them navigate challenging issues impacting their employees, students, and communities in a manner that is consistent with their mission and culture.

About the Labor and Employment Group

The bicoastal, 40-person Labor and Employment team at Venable provides guidance and support across the full spectrum of workplace dynamics – helping employers control costs, avoid disputes, and defend themselves when litigation arises. As co-editors of this newsletter, Michael Volpe and Doreen Martin invite you to share the content with your colleagues and reach out with any questions.