On January 18, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule for regulating non-compete clauses. The proposed rule, which has been named the “Non-Compete Rule,” could potentially ban employers from entering into, or attempting to enter into, a non-compete clause with employees and independent contractors collectively referred to as “workers.” The proposed rule has recently sparked several discussions on the scope and constitutionality of the rule. One concern is how the proposed rule, if finalized, would impact the healthcare industry and especially non-profit hospitals.
In the last few years, especially after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a noticeable growth in US labor organizing. Workers all over the country, from both large corporations and small companies, have gone on strikes and began forming labor unions in an effort to get better wages, working conditions, and benefits. Most recently, employees at large rail unions rejected a tentative deal to avert a walkout in September 2022 after it failed to adequately address their concerns. This is the latest, but certainly not the only, instance of workers demonstrating their increased bargaining power. We have also seen increased unionization movements by corporate employees at corporations like Amazon, Google, and Starbucks. However, as more corporate employees attempt to unionize, corporations have begun to push back, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has stepped in to put a stop to blatant anti-unionization efforts.
Emily Zhang Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2024 On October 13, the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) issued a change to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Covid-19 emergency standard and issued a revised proposal for the non-emergency standard. The order updates the definition of “close contact” …
November 8, 2022 marks the day Illinois constituents vote for midterm elections. That is if they have not already sent in early ballots. On the ballot this year, voters will see a proposed amendment that would add a new section to the Bill of Rights Article of the Illinois Constitution that would guarantee workers the fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively, and negotiate wages, hours, and working conditions. This post breaks down this new amendment, looks at the greater political debate, and analyzes how it affects Illinois businesses.
In September 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new instruction which broadens the scope of the agency’s inspection program, the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). The previous directive, which went into effect in 2010, allowed OSHA to place employers in the program if its employees committed certain serious violations, especially if they had already been cited for the violation once or received a failure-to-abate notice. The new instruction allows OSHA to place employers in the program that probably would not have met the criteria in the previous directive.
Non-competes are a traditional approach for employers seeking to place a restrictive covenant on an employee post termination or resignation. Recent studies show as high as 39.8 percent of all private sector employers are requiring non-competes, regardless of age or position. These agreements are typically signed by an employee near the date of hire, or over the course of employment, and typically limit the employee from working for or with competitors post-employment; sometimes even placing further restrictions regarding geographical areas or time periods.
In 1998, Congress passed legislation to address vacancies created when a high-ranking official of an executive branch agency leaves their position. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) establishes a time limit of 210 days from the date of a vacancy for which a person may serve in an acting capacity in a position that is otherwise nominated by the President, with advice and consent of the Senate. The FVRA allows acting officials to serve beyond that time if there is a first or second nomination pending in the Senate for the vacancy. However, certain agencies have supplemental succession plans within their enabling statues that may supersede or complicate the FVRA.
In the almost sixty years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women and people of color are still deprived of wages equal to their male and white coworkers. Illinois has recently made strides to level the playing field by passing amendments to their Equal Pay Act requiring large companies to disclose demographic data on their employees and sign compliance statements regarding pay discrimination. Going forward, Chicago is considering requiring employers to post salary ranges on their job postings, while the Biden Administration has been fighting to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. The future of equal wages in America depends on the results of these crucial legislative battles.
Policing is a settler colonial creation to control native populations and is exported aboard to teach other empires how to do the same. In 2007, the FBI found that cops averaged roughly four hundred “justifiable homicides” every year, whereas nearly eighty cops were murdered in the line of duty. These disparities have only further developed, where since 2014, cops averaged nearly one thousand homicides each year, and the number of cops killed in the line of duty remained around forty-eight. Policing and prison systems are premised on punishment, rather than transformative healing, health, and prevention. Thus, as stated in Decriminalization Is Not Enough, Abolition Is a Must, resources and funding which are currently given to our present system of policing and prisons should be reallocated to tools that actually serve the community, rather than on incarceration.
Justice is a means through which people can discuss, decide, and create environments that encourage them thrive and it involves the people who are most impacted by those conditions. In that vein, abolition will look different in each community. The goal of abolition should be prioritizing the needs of each community by allowing the community control and ultimate decision-making ability. Abolition allows each community to communicate, prioritize, and enact methods and means that will make that community the best environment for its members. As Dereka Purnell wrote in Becoming Abolitionists, “activists or abolition-curious people will often ask me, ‘What does abolition look like to you?’ My answers change all the time during conversation, especially since I believe that the dreaming and practicing should happen together. This is what I’m thinking about today as I’m writing the conclusion to this book. Every neighborhood would have five quality features: a neighborhood council; free twenty-four-hour childcare; art, conflict, and mediation centers; a free health clinic; and a green team.” Upon community needs, discussion, and approval, funds currently spent on police and prison systems should be reallocated to education, housing, health care, and public spaces.
2021 brought on many challenges never faced before for employers, most of which surrounded the central issue of working from home. Employers struggled to keep employees focused with all the distractions of being at home, technology connectivity issues, and making sure employees could still stay connected on a personal level with co-workers. While we may finally be shifting slightly away from the work from home space, 2022 will bring on a whole new variety of employment compliance issues that companies will need to tackle. Now that employees are coming back to the office, the focus will be shifted from managing work from home experiences to minimum wage increases, discrimination protections, and marijuana legalizations just to name a few.