New employment legislation and policies at the federal, state, and local levels of government often have a dramatic effect on an employer’s business and broader interests. Whether it’s new wage and hour guidance or pandemic-related workplace safety or accommodations policies, broadly applicable new rules, or those specific to government contractors and subcontractors, companies are aware of the need to keep updated and well informed about regulatory and legislative developments in the labor and employment area. Employers across many industries rely on Epstein Becker Green to help them navigate these changes, promote their interests, and remain legally compliant.
Our Relationships, Your Success
Our Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice has been guiding businesses like yours through presidential transitions for over 40 years. The current administration continues to implement sweeping changes to regulatory, legislative, and enforcement priorities s, which will likely affect the business and compliance strategies of our clients. Epstein Becker Green deploys critical problem-solving approaches for its clients in anticipation of, and in response to, these changes.
To accomplish this, we maintain strong relationships with key personnel at the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), including Wage and Hour, OFCCP and OSHA, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), and other agencies that interpret and enforce labor and employment laws. Clients benefit from our ability to offer practical and strategic advice for interacting with these agencies and to work with agency decision-makers.
We’ve Been on Both Sides
Our workforce government relations team includes former senior-level government officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the DOL. For example, our team includes a past:
- Acting Attorney General of the United States,
- Head of the Civil Division of the DOJ,
- Administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, and
- Head of the DOL’s Civil Rights Division.
Members of our team also include a former trial attorney for the DOL’s Office of the Solicitor; past trial attorneys in the Antitrust, Civil, Criminal, and Tax Divisions of the DOJ; former field attorneys with the NLRB; past Assistant U.S. Attorneys; and lawyers who participated in congressionally-directed negotiations on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 503 disability regulations.
Our agency experience and current relationships also prove beneficial to clients when we represent them in government investigations, audits, and enforcement actions.
The Legislative Pipeline
Employers turn to us to keep them informed of workplace legislation that could affect their business interests. Our attorneys keep pace with bills moving through Congress, and several of us have testified before congressional committees regarding new federal wage legislation under consideration and other key subjects. Our two-pronged approach simultaneously keeps employers current on legislative activity and gives voice to their interests and perspectives during the legislative process so that policymakers are better informed while crafting new laws and regulations. Additionally, staying on top of developments in the law enables us to advise employers in advance of relevant legislation at the state and local levels around the country that could affect their workforces as well.
- Secured new DOL guidance on behalf of the Restaurant Law Center and the Texas Restaurant Association regarding the 80/20 rule for tipped employees. We filed litigation to influence the DOL to reject its prior guidance limiting the amount of time tipped employees can spend on non-tip-generating activities.
- Worked with a trade association to craft a legislative proposal to assist an industry hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Met with DOL personnel to advocate for changes to various regulatory and sub-regulatory positions.
- Provided congressional testimony in support of various business interests.
- Worked with major employer policy groups and the White House to revise the Americans with Disabilities Act and shape reasonable new Affirmative Action obligations for individuals with disabilities and veterans.
- Successfully suggested modifications to the EEOC’s EEO-1 pay data collection process to make compliance easier for employers.