Rep. Bradley Byrne to Spring Labor Conference: We Have an Opportunity to Match Government Policy and the Workplace

April 07, 2017

House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) told the Association's Spring Labor and Employment Relations Conference, "We have the opportunity to ask some fundamental questions: what does the workplace look like today, what will it look like in the next 10 and 20 years, and what can we do on a legislative and policy level to create a match between the workplace and the policy environment?"  Representative Byrne, a former management-side employment lawyer, went on to say that in crafting such policies legislators will have to be mindful of the preferences of future generations in the workplace.  He further noted the demographic shift may also require trade unions, who continue to see falling numbers, to develop a new business model.  Other highlights: 

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic articulated her vision for the agency and issues with the EEO-1 pay data requirements, stating, "I cannot find anyone who actually has experience with this who thinks it’s a good idea or in any way will yield useful data to the EEOC." 
  • AFL-CIO General Counsel Lynn Rhinehart offered a different perspective on a variety of topics but also outlined some significant points of agreement, including protecting employer-provided health care under the tax laws.  "We work with you on employer-based health care," she stated.  "This proposal would kill us.  Let’s kill it dead." 
  • Acting NLRB Chair Phil Miscimarra highlighted the importance of filling the Board in a timely manner and noted the great deal of work a new NLRB would have to do to walk back many Obama-era Board decisions.  "We have developed a number of standards that are very hard for groups to apply and practice," Miscimarra said.  "It's difficult for you as employers to determine what is prohibited and what is required to do.  This is the same for unions and employees."