Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Michael Filoromo was quoted in Law360 on how the upcoming Biden administration will have its eyes set on reversing Trump-era employment policies, and strengthening labor laws and regulations.
Throughout the campaign, President-Elect Biden espoused an ambitious pro-labor platform, which would greatly benefit workers and unions after four years of pro-employer policies.
"The Trump administration has made numerous changes in the employment and labor law space that have largely favored employers — including the federal government — by rolling back Obama-era rules and by implementing policies and enforcement priorities that have limited protections for workers," explained Mr. Filoromo. "Among other things, a Biden administration would almost certainly seek to reestablish Obama-era, pro-worker rules while expanding employer liability for unsafe working conditions as the pandemic continues."
In addition to narrowing the pay gap, increasing diversity training among federal contractors, and remaking the National Labor Relations Board, the Biden administration will also aim to reverse the trend of allowing “gig-economy” business to classify their workers as contractors, not employees.
Last year, California passed a law enshrining the “ABC Test,” which created a strict legal standard for classifying workers as employees or contractors. Gig economy companies fought back, and a recent ballot measure overturned the law. "California is … often on the cutting edge — at least from the plaintiffs' perspective — of employment protections," said Mr. Filoromo.
While the new administration’s power to pass pro-employee legislation will be hampered if Congress remains divided, President-Elect Biden will be able to appoint a Secretary of Labor committed to employee rights and protections. The Biden administration will have the power of executive orders and agency rulemaking to undo at least some of the damage the Trump administration has caused to workers over the last four years.
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