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Legislative Update for the Week of March 22

Leg Roundup Image 132 by 140.jpgHouse Passes Bill Extending Certain USERRA Right to Members of the National Guard
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved by a vote of 416-1 the National Guard Employment Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 1879), legislation that would extend certain employment and reemployment rights to members of the National Guard who are ordered to report for full-time duty. Read the full post here. (March 26)

Health Care Reform Law Presents Unique Considerations for Collectively Bargained Plans
The new health care reform legislation has dramatic implications for all employers. While full implementation of the law is still years away, employers should begin evaluating and preparing for its impact on collective bargaining agreements today. Read the full post here. (March 26)

Bill Temporarily Extending COBRA, UI Benefits Stalls
Despite last-ditch efforts, the Senate failed to approve the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4851) before the two-week legislative recess, which would have extended the COBRA subsidy and emergency unemployment insurance benefits. Read the full post here. (March 26)

Republican Senators Draft Letter Opposing Potential NLRB Recess Appointment
All 41 Republican senators signed a letter written by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and John McCain (R-AZ) urging President Obama not to appoint Craig Becker as a member of the National Labor Relations Board over the upcoming two-week recess. Read the full post here. (March 26)

Senate Passes Reconciliation Bill
After a marathon of all-night Congressional proceedings, the Senate voted 56-43 on Thursday in favor of a slightly amended Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872)--otherwise known as the reconciliation bill--containing "fixes" to the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148). Read the full post here. (March 25)

DOL Changes Course on Exempt Status of Mortgage Loan Officers
In its first Administrator Interpretation Letter, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor announced on Wednesday that mortgage loan officers do not qualify as bona fide administrative employees under section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Read the full post here. (March 25)

Bill Would Limit Executive Compensation Paid by Systemically Significant Financial Institutions
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Wall Street Compensation Reform Act of 2010 (S. 3149), legislation that would amend the tax code to create special rules for executive compensation paid at "systemically significant" financial institutions, and would condition an institution's eligibility for tax deductions on ending certain compensation arrangements and adopting new, long term compensation standards. Read the full post here. (March 25)

Reports Claim Craig Becker Likely to Receive Recess Appointment
It is becoming increasingly likely that controversial National Labor Relations Board nominee Craig Becker will be appointed as a Board member over the upcoming Congressional recess. Read the full post here. (March 24)

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Complaint Must Be Written in Order to Be Covered under the FLSA's Anti-Retaliation Provision
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Seventh Circuit's decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics (7th Cir. 2009), which held that an oral complaint of a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act is not considered protected conduct under the Act's anti-retaliation provision. Read the full post here. (March 23)

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