A year ago, our newly elected President stood on the steps of a big White House in Washington and proclaimed that he would bring “Change We Can Believe In.” It was clear that there were daunting tasks ahead. The administration’s agenda took shape and its priorities emerged.
First we had to address the economic meltdown and create an effective stimulus program. Few people at the time or currently would argue that was of primary concern. President Obama and Congress have addressed most of the initial economic stimulus issues. Second, the administration and Congress chose to address healthcare concerns. Now we find many of the healthcare reform efforts to be stalled, largely due to the Democratic loss of the super-majority within the Senate. As a result, many of the administration’s labor and employment law initiatives, the third priority for the administration, are in jeopardy and may not even be addressed substantively this legislative session.
Most of the legislative initiatives relating to workplace flexibility and leave issues are beginning to seem unlikely to be addressed in any meaningful way by the current Congress. However, many commentators speculate that some form of legislation based upon the Employee Free Choice Act proposal may reemerge and be passed. Stay tuned!