While legal challenges are still working their way through the courts, in all likelihood, President-elect Joe Biden will assume Presidency in January 2021. On the campaign trail, Biden touted an aggressive pro-employee vision for the American workplace. This stands in stark contrast to the pro-employer approach the Trump Administration has taken.
On the legislative front, Biden has advocated for many employee-friendly laws. However, in order to make the sweeping changes promised during his campaign, the Democrats will have to take control of the Senate – an outcome that is dependent on them winning two races set for January 5, 2021 in typically Republican Georgia.
Given the uncertainty of the control of the Senate, Biden’s Administration is more likely to pursue his agenda through executive action. When he takes office, Biden will have the opportunity to appoint a number of administrative positions and issue new executive orders. However, Biden’s ability to work through the executive branch could again be limited if the Democrats fail to take control of the Senate, as many of the most impactful positions require approval of the Senate prior to appointment.
Some of the key changes President-elect Biden will attempt to make when he takes office are described below.
Equity at the Workplace
Biden campaigned on the promise of increased equity in the workplace for members of historically disadvantaged communities. To that end, Biden has endorsed a number of statutes providing employees with new avenues to seek redress from employers.
Biden has expressed support for the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (“PWFA”), the Paycheck Fairness Act (“PFA”), and the Equality Act all of which have been passed by the House of Representatives. The PWFA would require employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant workers even in absence of a disability. The Paycheck Fairness Act amends the FLSA to reduce the ability of employers to defend themselves against pay discrimination claims using the bona fide factor other than sex defense. The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexuality. While the Supreme Court’s recent decisions make much of this statute redundant, it would still place increased data collecting requirements on employers. Biden has also expressed support for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
At the EEOC, the Republican majority will last until July 2022. Thus, the Biden Administration’s impact at the EEOC level will initially be limited as the EEOC has the sole authority to initiate or intervene in systemic discrimination litigation. However, when Biden is able to make appointments to the EEOC, employers should expect increased litigation and rulemaking. A Biden EEOC is also likely to give up on legal challenges to EEO-1 data reporting/collection. Biden has also stated that reversing President Trump’s executive order banning federal contractors from engaging in certain types of diversity training is a day one priority.
Workplace Health & Safety
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
JOINT VENTURE TRANSACTIONS
NEW ARBITRATION RULES
PUBLISHED BY THE LONDON COURT OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION (LCIA) AND INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (ICC)
M&A in the time of COVID and beyond
What is clear for those engaging in cross-border M&A is that countries around the world are becoming increasingly protective of their economies and industries, with new rules being introduced and existing rules being more widely applied
SWITZERLAND A DIFFERENTIATED APPROACH TO FRAUD
Swiss law interprets the offense of fraud in a special way where in addition to the characteristics of deception and damage as known in many jurisdictions, a qualified lie, i.e. a malicious approach, is required
JOINT VENTURE DISPUTES MEDIATING
Mediation has shown itself to be a powerful tool for bringing a speedy and effective end to crossborder disputes while preserving the commercial relationship between them.
Recognition of HONG KONG INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS IN MAINLAND CHINA
A TEST CASE IN THE MAKING?
CONFIDENTIALITY IN ARBITRATION: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN SINGAPORE
Two recent developments in Singapore case law and legislation reflect a willingness to preserve confidentiality related obligations in all arbitrations
ESSENTIAL GOODS SERVICES UNDER IBC
WHAT DOES IT ESSENTIALLY MEAN?
A BIDEN ADMINISTRATION'S NEW VISION FOR THE AMERICAN WORKPLACE
A LOOK AT THE KEY CHANGES PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN IS LIKELY TO MAKE ONCE HE TAKES OFFICE
If You Think Positive Covid Is A Big Opportunity
Senior Vice President and Head of Legal, ESSAR CAPITAL, Badrinath Durvasula, holds forth on his professional journey, the essence of leadership, working from home, books and more…
Airbnb Has A Nightmare Problem
When violent crimes happen during stays, the company’s secretive safety team is called on to soothe guests, help families—and prevent PR disasters
Behind the Scenes
Get a glimpse of the inner workings of luxury hotels.
Celebrate Good Times
Travelers again look to special trips to observe life’s milestones.
Cuba Bets Big on Its Own Vaccines
If they prove effective, locally made drugs could be an economic lifeline for the island
Biden confronts his first foreign crisis
The U.S. Can't Afford a Tax Policy That Punishes Wealth
HIS CRITICS AND supporters agree: President Joe Biden’s tax plans are radical. He wants a substantial increase in U.S. public spending and means to pay for it by raising taxes on the rich, in particular by almost doubling the top tax rate on investment income. Unsurprisingly, the idea seems to be playing well in opinion polls. It would be odd if the promise to lift up the poor and middle class at the expense of the top 3% was unpopular. The question is whether it’s smart.
FOUNDER OF TIKTOK'S CHINESE OWNER STEPPING DOWN AS CEO
The founder of TikTok’s Chinese owner said Thursday he will give up his job as CEO to focus on longer-term initiatives, a step that comes amid uncertainty over whether the Biden administration will force the sale of the popular short video service’s U.S. arm.
AMAZON TO EXTEND PAUSE ON POLICE USE OF FACIAL RECOGNITION
Amazon said that it will extend its ban on police use of its face-recognition technology beyond the one-year pause it announced last year.
VIRUS TESTING STRATEGIES, OPINIONS VARY WIDELY IN US SCHOOLS
Children are having their noses swabbed or saliva sampled at school to test for the coronavirus in cities such as Baltimore, New York and Chicago. In other parts of the U.S., school districts are reluctant to check even students showing signs of illness for COVID-19.
COVID hold lifted, hoping for games soon
Morey playing for Bucksport