Author Archives: afscme

North American Border Wars: The Role of Canadian and American Scholarship in U.S. Labor Law Reform Debates

Source: Michael J. Zimmer, Susan Bisom-Rapp, Hofstra Labor and Emploment Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1, Fall 2012

From the abstract:
The economies of Canada and the United States and the organization of their societies are deeply interrelated but significant differences exist. This article briefly traces the interaction between the two countries in the development of labor relations laws with a particular emphasis on the impact of scholarly work on U.S. labor law reform debates in the last two decades. Instructive for that purpose is the work of Professor Paul Weiler, a prominent figure in labor law policy discussions in both countries. A significant architect of labor law in Canada, Professor Weiler came to Harvard Law School in 1978 and brought his experience and insights with him, rapidly becoming one of the foremost labor law scholars in the United States. His influence in the 1990s, and hence the influence of Canadian ideas, on the ultimately unsuccessful labor law reform proposals of President Clinton’s Dunlop Commission is widely recognized.

Professor Weiler’s proposals are once again the basis for scholarly and policy debate. This time, however, Canadian ideas and experience have prompted a scholarly border skirmish. Recently, when new legislation – the Employee Free Choice Act – was proposed to Congress to implement a number of reforms of the National Labor Relations Act based on the Canadian experience, several U.S. academics argued that the actual Canadian experience where these reforms were in place resulted in higher unemployment and slower economic growth. Canadian labor scholars, fearing the corrosive effects of such critiques on their own labor relations regime, responded with rejoinders challenging the work of the American scholars. Clearly, and notwithstanding American provincialism, Canadian-influenced labor law scholarship has played a central role in U.S. policy debates, creating a favorable intellectual environment for labor law convergence. Yet the opponents of U.S. labor law reform also deploy scholarship aimed at the Canadian experience in order reinforce the divergent paths of the two systems, as do Canadian scholars acting defensively to forestall greater convergence of the Canadian regime to the U.S. model.

Governments Readying for 2014 by Creating Health Care Insurance Exchanges

Source: Carol Regan, PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), PolicyWorks blog, February 28, 2013

It is likely that more than half a million direct-care workers could be seeking health insurance through an exchange.

See also:
Medicaid Expansion Is Crucial for Direct-Care Workers
Source: Gail MacInnes, PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), PolicyWorks blog, February 26, 2013

Select Medicaid Resources and Reports
Source: PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), PolicyWorks blog, February 26, 2013

The Family and Medical Leave Act at 20: A Record of Success, But More Can Be Done

Source: Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), February 28, 2013

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) celebrated its 20th anniversary this month. It was a huge step forward for the U.S., which lags behind nearly all other high-income countries in enabling people to take the time they need, without worrying that they may be fired from their jobs, to care for themselves and their families when faced with serious illness or welcoming a new child…. Department of Labor surveys of experiences with the FMLA, released earlier this month, find ways to improve the effectiveness and increase the coverage of family and medical leave for American families. CEPR senior economist Eileen Appelbaum recently wrote a series of blog posts to review these findings of the FMLA surveys and draw lessons about what to do next.
See also:
Family and Medical Leave in 2012
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office, February 2013

The Family and Medical Leave Act at 20, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Source: Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), February 2013

United States of ALEC

Source: Moyers & Company, September 28, 2012

From the summary:
Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.

Using interviews, documents, and field reporting, the episode explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”

In state houses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote, and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers — each accomplished without the public ever knowing who’s behind it.

Related:
Interactive Map: Is Your State Legislator a Member of ALEC?

ALEC Rock

AASA Members Detail Draconian Impact of Sequester’s Cuts

Source: American Association of School Administrators, Leading Edge Blog, February 26, 2013

From the press release:
School superintendents across the nation are bracing for the deep cuts of sequestration, the federal policy consequence for continued Congressional inaction. In response to a call to action issued during AASA’s National Conference on Education last week, hundreds of districts across the nation provided details describing what the cuts would look like in their district, reporting jobs cut, programs eliminated, and other negative impacts…. Nearly 400 responses from 42 states paint a dreary picture as it relates to the nation’s public schools and sequestration….

… School districts are finalizing their budgets for the 2013‐14 school year; this is the school year in which federal FY13 funding and policy (including sequestration) would play out in schools. This means school superintendents are bracing for the cuts by building the cuts in to their budgets. When asked how they were preparing for sequestration last summer, more than half indicated they would build the cuts in to their budget.

With that budget now being finalized, this latest call to action asked AASA members to detail what the cuts look like:
– More than three quarters of respondents (77.9%) indicated their district would have to eliminate jobs as a result of sequestration.
– School districts will, on average, eliminate between 3.7 and 4.8 instructional positions as a result of sequestration. AASA analyzed the job cuts at two levels, averaging across all respondents (including those indicating they would NOT be eliminating positions) and averaging across only those respondents who will be making cuts due to sequestration….
See also:
Updated AASA Fiscal Cliff Toolkit
Source: American Association of School Administrators, December 2012

Reasonable Accommodation Under the new ADA: How Far Must Employers go?

Source: Linda B. Dwoskin and Melisa Bergman Squire, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 38 no. 4, Spring 2013
(subscription required)

This article discusses the breadth of what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the courts consider “reasonable” under the American with Disabilities Act and the factors an employer must consider in deciding whether to grant an employee’s request for accommodation.