Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Latest On EFCA

The folks at EFCA Report who have been chronicling developments on this proposed legislation have their latest update, with some fairly definitive words from Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) on EFCA: "Too Many Other Things on Our Plate". Of course, since the statement was made to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, not a place where a pro-EFCA comment would likely be well received, it might be one of those statements that is subject to change.

Still, the other developments mentioned in their post, including the death of Senator Kennedy and the current state of Massachusetts law which, unless changed, means the earliest his replacement could be seated is the end of January, 2010, seems to me to make it more and more unlikely that EFCA will happen this year.

That of course does not mean that the battle for EFCA is over. One interesting question is whether other employment related legislation, ENDA or the Arbitration Fairness Act just to pick a couple, which most have felt were bottled up till EFCA was resolved stay there, or perhaps move closer to the front burner.

The big question of course is what happens in the longer term, the 2nd session of this Congress, or after the 2010 elections. I think more in organized labor may be resigning themselves that given how things have developed, they may need to keep their powder dry and see what the 2010 Senate looks like.

Depending on how that turns out, it is not impossible that EFCA proponents may someday count their blessings that this year's more effective than they had anticipated political opposition, the pitched battle over health care, the lack of a hard push by the Obama administration for their cherished goal and even the death of one of the bills' true champions, Senator Kennedy, might result in ultimately obtaining a bill that is closer to their desires than anything they could have obtained now.

Certainly not impossible, but likely?


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