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Labor and Employment Regs and Bills to Watch for in 2020


This year, three federal employment agencies are planning to put the finishing touches on employer-friendly regulations laying out a framework for evaluating whether businesses jointly employ workers, but partisan opposition will likely stymie any efforts by Democrats on Capitol Hill to give federal employment laws a meaningful overhaul. Here, labor and employment experts discuss the legislation and regulations they will be keeping tabs on in 2020.  


Jason Reisman, co-chair of Blank Rome LLP's labor and employment practice, said that having three agencies all wading into joint employment indicates a larger goal of the Trump administration to have a consistent standard.

"I would say that's more of an administration push because we have so many different rules and it's so difficult to comply with different rules that I guess they're now trying to become a little bit more uniform," Reisman said. "So, if they all issue a rule that sets up [tests] that [are] at least remotely similar, it'll make it a little bit easier for compliance purposes."


Although numerous states and municipalities have built LGBT protections into their own anti-discrimination laws and many businesses have internal protections in place, a ruling by the high court that Title VII doesn't cover sexual orientation or gender identity could put pressure on Congress to address the issue on a federal level.

"In theory, it probably would. But given the way that Congress is right now in its split ... it's hard for me to believe that Congress is going to be able to get its act together to pass anything that would be on the employment side," Reisman said. "Even when both houses and the presidency have been of the same party, they still don't churn out new laws all that efficiently. But there's certainly going to be talk about it."

"Labor and Employment Regs and Bills to Watch for in 2020," by Vin Gurrieri was published in Law360 on January 1, 2020.