New Hampshire News & Analysis

  • How unions fared in 2020

    Whenever there's a change in the political party at the White House, we usually see a shift in policy at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), too. This year is unique because, in addition to the change in leadership, we are slowly emerging from more than a year of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the changes, we thought it might be time to look back on how unions did in 2020 and what might be coming.

  • Portland emergency minimum wage validity, effective date affirmed

    Portland's emergency minimum wage law is valid and takes effect on January 1, 2022, the Maine Supreme Court recently decided, affirming a lower court ruling. Should a state of emergency be declared in the future, the new law will affect public and private organizations with employees in the city. In the meantime, labor shortages (rather than the legislation) may drive hourly wages up.

  • Amazon harassment allegations blast off, prompt policy review

    Amazon is in the news again. And, no, I'm not talking about executive chair Jeff Bezos' flight to the edge of space. This time, I'm referring to new harassment and discrimination allegations against the company. According to reports, Amazon Web Services, a company subsidiary, received a petition signed by more than 550 employees alleging "systemic discrimination, harassment, bullying and bias against women and under-represented groups." In response, Amazon hired outside investigators to look into the charges.

  • Biden targets noncompetes in Executive Order promoting competition

    In a recent Executive Order (EO) on promoting competition in the American economy, President Joe Biden encouraged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban or limit noncompete agreements. In doing so, he continues (and potentially accelerates) what to date has been a piecemeal effort conducted almost exclusively at the state level to limit and, in some cases, prohibit the use of noncompetes, particularly for low-wage workers.

  • Employers cautiously weigh whether to mandate vaccines

    To mandate or not to mandate COVID-19 vaccines—that's the pressing issue employers are confronting. Overall, many are still cautious about requiring the shots, and rightfully so.

  • Rocket propulsion manufacturer cannot limit employment opportunities to U.S. citizens

    A recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer serves as a useful reminder of the scope and purpose of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (INA) and the authority of the department's Immigrant and Employee Rights (IER) section.

  • NLRB finds solicitation of mail ballots can be objectionable conduct

    Not that long ago, nearly all National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) representation elections were conducted through a manual ballot process. More recently, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, the elections have been conducted by mail ballots. Most parties recognize it's much more challenging to maintain the integrity and neutrality of the election process during a mail ballot election. In a recent decision, the Board held a party's solicitation of one or more mail ballots constitutes objectionable conduct and may warrant setting aside a representation election.

  • Tips to make sure disabilities don't derail diversity, inclusion efforts

    The numbers aren't surprising. Year after year, statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) show the unemployment rate for people with disabilities to be dramatically higher than the rate for people without disabilities. Figures from June show the unemployment rate for people ages 16 to 64—the age group commonly considered to be the working-age population—was 11% for those with disabilities. That compares to 5.9% for people in the same age group who don't have disabilities. The 2020 unemployment rate was 13.3% for people ages 16 to 64 who have disabilities and 7.9% for people in the same age group without disabilities.

  • Leery of hiring ex-offenders? Study looks at employer attitudes

    For years, employers have bemoaned the "skills gap." Even when candidates seem to be plentiful, many employers report a dearth of applicants with the right skills to fill positions. It's enough to put employers on the hunt for new talent pools, and recent research points out why they might consider a long-shunned group—people with criminal records.

  • 1st Circuit affirms labor law protections for nonunion employee

    A Maine hospital violated federal labor law when it fired an employee for publishing an op-ed in the local paper criticizing the employer, the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island employers) recently decided, affirming a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling.