Does anybody else think that the new President will enact new corporate regulations? Corporate counsel think that regardless of the winner this November, labor and employment regulation will increase.
The National Law Journal reports:
According to a recent survey of nearly 400 corporate counsel, six out of 10 corporate counsel expect this year’s presidential election to affect labor and employment laws at their companies.
You think? A brief perusal of McCain’s post meltdown statements reveals that he is now for more regulation. Meanwhile, Obama is a Democrat which means it’s entirely possible that his administration will regulate employee access to the executive bathroom:
Among the potential changes cited by the respondents were increased costs for health benefits and mandatory paid sick days; a resurgence of workplace regulation generally; and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would eliminate secret ballots in union organizing drives and strengthen labor’s hand in negotiations over union representation.
Great. We all know how much corporate counsel love unions.
Other corporate counsel concerns after the jump.
Aside from presidential politics, the underlying survey found an increased concern with employment discrimination lawsuits:
According to the survey, 73.5 percent of the corporate counsel said their companies had been a defendant in employment-related litigation over the last three years. More than half of those, or 52.6 percent, said they had faced discrimination complaints, with wage and hour complaints being the second most frequent at 27.0 percent.
As to the number of discrimination complaints, 42.4 percent of respondents said they had remained steady over the past three years, while 27.2 percent had seen an increase and 11.1 percent had seen a decrease.
Is there more discrimination in the workplace? Or are employees becoming more sensitive to discrimination that has always been there? Or (I think this is how the argument goes) are “undeserving minorities” more quick to try to explain away their “incompetence” through harassing and unfounded lawsuits? However you fall, apparently corporate counsel are more worried about defending their companies and clients from these lawsuits than they were just a few years ago.
One bright note from the survey is that massive layoffs are still viewed as unlikely:
Despite worries about the economy … more than half of their companies were not instituting a reduction in workforce and most of those did not expect to do so over the next 12 months. …
For their own staffs, 49.5 percent of respondents said their corporate legal department had increased its professional staff in the last three years; 41.1 percent said staffing had remained the same; while only 9.4 percent had seen a decrease.
Any new administration will bring with it the fog of the unknown. That probably has corporate counsel more worried than anything.
Corporate counsel brace for more union organizing, higher health care costs after election [National Law Journal]
Corporate Counsel Say Election Will Impact Employment Law [Jackson Lewis]