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Resolutions Would Block Union Elections Rule

From SBAM's national affiliate, NSBA:

On Feb. 16, Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.), Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), along with 65 cosponsors, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives a resolution (H.J. Res. 103) to disapprove under the Congressional Review Act the union elections rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) late last year. A similar resolution (S.J. Res. 36) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)which has 44 cosponsors.

Often referred to as the "ambush elections" rule, NSBA took a firm stance last year against the rule, filing comments which detailed the unfair process and significant burden it would pose for small businesses.

NSBA has submitted a letter in support of both resolutions which, if passed, would prevent the regulation from going into effect. Of primary concern with the ambush elections rule is the fact that unions can spend months or even years in advance of filing a petition to encourage employee support of unionization. The unions control when a petition is filed, giving them the upper-hand in planning and spreading information to the workforce. Employers, under this proposed rule, would then bear the full brunt of a shortened timeframe which, in certain circumstances, could be just 10 days following the filing of a petition. 

The current median time between a petition being filed and the elections is only 38 days. Moreover, unions prevailed in 71 percent of elections in FY 2011. It is unclear, therefore, that there even exists any major flaw in the process or major delays--as NLRB has claimed--that have prompted this proposal. 

The primary objective of the National Labor Relations Act is to “assure employees the fullest freedom to decide whether or not they desire union representation.” Employees ought to have unfettered access to information from both sides on the implications of a unionizing campaign before a vote would happen. This rule impedes that objective. 

The rule would dramatically limit the scope of the pre-hearing process. Previously, both the NLRB and courts have come to the conclusion that, as the law spells out, a pre-election hearing is necessary to ensure fairness to employers and to protect the rights of employees to make informed choices in the elections. 

How small business worked with the DEQ on environmental regulatory reform. Today at 10 a.m. on the Business Next free audio seminar

SBAM's Director of Government Relations Dave Jessup talks with Michael Rogers about the successful effort to begin reforming Michigan's environmetal regulations. Also, get advice on how to network more effectively, learn how a small office supply company thrives in southeast Michigan, and hear about the new Michipreneuers website. Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Michigan Business Network. Listen to archived programs anytime at your convenience on your PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/your_wht_knight/

Small business owners support recommendations to cut environmental red tape

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) supports the Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) recommendations released today that update environmental regulations in order to make Michigan a more competitive place to do business. 

“These recommendations are the result of a productive dialogue that has taken place between the Snyder administration and the state’s job providers,” says Rob Fowler, President and CEO of SBAM. “Historically there have been two major factors contributing to making it expensive to do business in Michigan: the system by which we tax businesses and an overly stringent regulatory structure. In 2011, Gov. Snyder took a huge first step on his promise to restructure business taxation. The administration’s comprehensive review of regulation stands to be the next major milestone in making Michigan once again a good place in which to do business.”

SBAM supports a more efficient, customer service-oriented licensing process that services private sector business needs, with a particular emphasis placed on cost containment and timetable efficiency; and predictability in regulatory applications to allow businesses to plan for future liabilities (particularly important for small businesses as they typically do not have the resources to navigate a complex regime of regulation.) “Many of the recommendations on environmental regulation that ORR has announced today are targeted toward these objectives and SBAM looks forward to the future release of reforms in other areas of state government,” says Fowler. “SBAM applauds the ORR efforts and is eager to partner with the administration and legislative leaders to make the necessary statutory changes recommended in the package.”

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/rumn8tr/

NSBA Registers Opposition to New EEOC Policy

From SBAM's national affiliate, NSBA:

As NSBA reported last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has come out with a new policy that any employer requiring high school diplomas would be unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act unless the employer can demonstrate that the diploma requirement is job related and consistent with business necessity. This new policy was informally discussed starting in November 2011, but more recently was adopted in January 2012 under the radar and with little- to no notification to employers.

NSBA has submitted a detailed letter opposing this move as it will lead to needless, expensive and damaging litigation, have an adverse impact on small businesses and employment levels as well as discourage young people from pursing educational attainment. In the letter, NSBA questions the evidence prompting the policy change and states the policy would stymie job growth and employment.

Please click here to view the full letter.

Get training to help your small business comply with environmental requirements

Registration is now open for the 2012 Michigan Environmental Compliance Conferences, conducted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The conferences will be held April 26 at the Treetops Resort, Gaylord; May 1 at the Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids; and May 10 at the Laurel Manor, Livonia. The cost is $115 per person.

Three concurrent tracks with over 15 sessions will cover waste management, water quality requirements, air quality requirements, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and more. All conference attendees will receive the brand new 7th Edition of the Michigan Guide to Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulations.

Click here to get more information on the agenda, continuing education credits, and registration.

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelehen/
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