City Fiscal Conditions 2020

Source: National League of Cities, August 2020

From the summary:

In its 35th year, the City Fiscal Conditions report continues to provide insight into the fiscal health of cities, towns and villages from across the nation. The findings in this year’s report reveals that America’s cities are experiencing the fiscal consequences of this pandemic-downturn at an unprecedented speed – and like recent recessions, it will take years for municipal budgets recover from the impact of COVID-19.

By diving deeper into the survey results from 485 cities from across the country, we can see just how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of residents and why direct funding is critical to the financial health of our nation.

Privatizing Employment Law: The Expansion of Mandatory Arbitration in the Workplace

Source: Sarah Staszak, Studies in American Political Development, First View, July 7, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article examines the institutional, political, and legal development of employment arbitration as it shifted from a Progressive Era form of justice enhancement to one co-opted by business-friendly conservatives arguably more concerned with protecting employers from litigation. While arbitration has a long history in the United States, the expanding use of mandatory, employer-promulgated arbitration clauses has more than doubled since the 2000s. In examining the nature of the shift, this article argues that it occurred through a gradual process of conversion in three institutional realms (1) legislative conversion, (2) private-sector conversion of public regulation, and (3) judicial conversion. Facilitated by a growing divide among Democrats on the value of arbitration, conservatives began to promote it in the 1970s and 1980s as backlash to the expansion of statutory employment rights. I argue that they did so by converting the institutional infrastructures of labor and commercial arbitration, a process continued by the private sector and Supreme Court. As such, this article argues that conversion is the product of multiple actors targeting multiple institutions, over decades, and with consequences for both the literature on institutional change and conceptions of equality under the law.

Tracking PPP Loans – Search Every Company Approved for Federal Loans Over $150k

Source: Moiz Syed and Derek Willis, Pro Publica, Coronavirus Bailouts, July 7, 2020

As part of the Paycheck Protection Program, the federal government provided up to $659 billion in financial support to banks to make low-interest loans to companies and nonprofit organizations in response to the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Search the loans approved by lenders and disclosed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Labor Unions and White Democratic Partisanship

Source: David Macdonald, Political Behavior, Early View, Published: June 25, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The Democratic Party’s declining support among white voters is a defining feature of contemporary American politics. Extant research has emphasized factors such as elite polarization and demographic change but has overlooked another important trend, the decades-long decline of labor union membership. This oversight is surprising, given organized labor’s long ties to the Democratic Party. I argue that the concurrent decline of union membership and white support for the Democratic Party is not coincidental, but that labor union affiliation is an important determinant of whites’ partisan allegiances. I test this using several decades of cross-sectional and panel data. I show that union-affiliated whites are more likely to identify as Democrats, a substantively significant relationship that does not appear to be driven by self-selection. Overall, these findings underscore the political consequences of union decline and help us to better understand the drivers of declining white support for the Democratic Party.

To the Victor Goes the Spoils: How the 2020 Presidential Election Could Reshape Labor and Employment Law

Source: Scott A. Budow, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 2, Autumn 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The 2020 presidential election has the potential to significantly upend labor and employment law. If there is a change in administration, employers should expect a sharp departure from rules issued over the past four years, particularly with respect to overtime, joint employment, and independent contractors. Employers may additionally expect renewed scrutiny of non-compete agreements. These changes may redefine the relationship between employers and workers in vast segments of the economy.

Collective Bargaining in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Source: Henry E. Farber and Nicole Mormilo, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 2, Autumn 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The authors identify and explore issues stemming from COVID-19 that they expect to arise during labor negotiations. Those issues include: Management rights; Economics; Employer flexibility to adjust workforce; Benefits; Employee health and safety; and Force majeure clauses.

FAQs Clarify COVID-19 Testing and Diagnosis Requirements for Employer Health Plans

Source: Timothy J. Stanton and Kristine M. Bingman, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 2, Autumn 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article reviews the key subjects covered by a federal guidance exploring requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.