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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.
Important Changes to Form I-9 Verification: What Employers Need to Know
Over the past two months, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) made multiple changes to the employment verification process, which directly impact the review and approval of employee identity and employment eligibility documentation.
NLRB Allows Unions to Represent Workers Without a Formal Vote
On August 25, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board decided that employers must either recognize a new union or promptly file for an election when a union asks for recognition based on a majority of workers showing support. The decision, Cemex Construction Materials Pacific LLC, 372 NLRB No. 130 (2023) (Cemex), establishes a new framework for determining when employers are required to bargain with unions without a representation election, abandoning the well-established Linden Lumber framework, which allowed employers to refuse to accept evidence of majority support of a union. 190 NLRB 718 (1978). This decision is just another way the Biden administration's NLRB is providing a major boost to unionization efforts across the country.
Education Roundup – Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Legal Debate Over Preferred Pronoun Usage in the Classroom Continues with Institutions of Higher Education Caught in the Middle
In a July 28, 2023 ruling, the Seventh Circuit has signaled that Institutions of Higher Education seeking to enforce pronoun policies can expect to face increased scrutiny. Specifically, the Seventh Circuit vacated its prior decision that dismissed a teacher's religious discrimination lawsuit in which he claimed that he was not reasonably accommodated and forced to resign for refusing to use transgender students' preferred pronouns. The unanimous three-judge panel remanded the case to the trial court for reconsideration in light of a recent Supreme Court decision that heightened the standard applied to employers who attempt to claim that providing a reasonable accommodation for an employee's sincerely held religious belief poses an undue hardship.
Tip of the Month
Ron Taylor: Employers are currently witnessing a tsunami of pro-employee initiatives that could capsize the traditional employer-employee relationship—post-employment protection restrictions, expanded employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act, enhanced discrimination protections, and new requirements due to remote work. To avoid foundering, employers should evaluate their policies and practices, from hiring to discipline, and take proactive steps to protect their business interests.
About the Labor and Employment Group
The national, 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.