That was one heck of a year!

Filed under: News |

By Pamela Wolf

I’ve cleaned up all the confetti and empty champagne bottles left in the wake of the annual passing from one year to another. And, with increasingly sober eyes, my colleagues and I here at Employment Law Daily have looked back on all the labor and employment developments that have legs and are still standing, as well as those that crawled, stood up, and then got knocked down—executive immigration reform and the Labor Department’s storied overtime regulation, for example.

And this was no ordinary year—the last one of the Obama Administration—with the continuing tug-of-war between President Obama and his federal agencies and a Congress battling over regulatory and legislative agendas that were miles apart. No one was surprised that the gridlock continued throughout 2016.

It seemed there were Congressional resolutions to block labor and employment regulations at every turn and no chance in sight for measures that would extend worker protections nationally, such as minimum wage increases or paid leave measures. Tired of waiting on Congress, a number of states and localities took matters into their own hands.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act made it through, though, establishing a federal civil remedy for trade secrets theft. The new law, which was effective when President Obama signed it in May, will provide one uniform federal standard for trade secret misappropriation, making it so much easier for employers—one set of nondisclosure policies will do the job, instead of trying to wade through the maze of individual state laws and protections.

On the sex discrimination front, the continuing debate over what exactly is protected under Title VII rages on as federal and state actors skirmish over the need for, or legitimacy of, protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Particularly heated were the moves and counter-moves directed toward would-be protections for transgender individuals who would use public restrooms and other public facilities consistent with their gender identity rather than their gender assignment at birth. Those skirmishes will no doubt continue throughout 2017.

My colleagues and I discuss these and other 2016 developments—the ones we think are most important—in a special briefing designed to fill you in on a few things you may have missed or that have slipped your mind in the midst of what we hope was a magnificent New Year’s celebration. Feel free to download 2016: Looking back on the labor and employment roller-coaster ride here, where you’ll also find a link to register for our webinar on January 25.

Source:: Employment Law Daily Newsfeed


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