Are we witnessing the beginning of a new direction in federal employment and labor law, one where the pendulum is swinging back towards some reasonable balance between workers’ and employers’ legal interests? Recent developments appear to suggest this is a real possibility:
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — President Obama’s first major bill signing was this important legislation extending the time period that workers have to sue in pay discrimination claims. Read about this legislation in HR Lawyer’s Blog by attorney Christopher McKinney: http://www.hrlawyersblog.com/2009/01/articles/sexual-discrimination/president-obama-signs-lilly-ledbetter-equal-pay-law/.
The Supreme Court’s Decision in Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville further protects employees from retaliation for cooperating with internal investigations and proceedings about alleged employment discrimination. Read about this unanimous ruling in HR Lawyer’s Blog: http://www.hrlawyersblog.com/2009/02/articles/case-opinions/supreme-court-issues-unanimous-decision-in-employment-retaliation-case/.
Today’s Workplace, the blog of Workplace Fairness, offers extended commentary on the Ledbetter legislation and Crawford decision: http://www.todaysworkplace.org/2009/02/06/rising-hope-for-women/.
Wilma Leibman designated Chair of National Labor Relations Board — Liebman, the senior member of the National Labor Relations Board, the federal administrative agency that presides over collective bargaining policy and disputes, has been a lone dissenting voice in the wilderness during the profoundly anti-labor years of the Bush Administration. Read about this development at Workplace Prof: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2009/01/liebman-designa.html.