HR Management & Compliance

Utah: Compromise, Cooler Heads Will Prevail

by Darryl J. Lee, Wood Jenkins LLC

Utah sends all of its incumbents back to the U.S. Congress, together with a new Tea Party constitutionalist, Republican Mike Lee, who easily won the open U.S. Senate seat vacated by Bob Bennett. (Bennett couldn’t make it out of Utah’s Republican caucus.)

Jim Matheson, Utah’s one Democratic congressman, needed all of his “blue dog” bark to run just ahead of his challenger, a candidate who might have overtaken Matheson if the election were held a week later.

Utah voters also approved an amendment to Utah’s Constitution mandating that employee authorization of unions be conducted by secret ballot. Unhappy with the result, a leader of one of the bigger unions in Utah claimed that the amendment conflicts with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and threatened litigation.

However, when cooler heads consider the full impact of the results of the 2010 midterm elections, the aggressive agenda of the current administration should work its way to the center, and rational compromise that advances the interests of all Americans should prevail. For now, we predict that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the Paycheck Fairness Act, and any compromise measures are distant and dying dreams.

However, employers cannot breathe easy just yet. Despite the election results, employers will probably encounter an increase in regulatory oversight, investigation, and enforcement as the administration tries a different tactic to advance its agenda.

Darryl J. Lee is an editor of Utah Employment Law Letter and an attorney with Wood Jenkins LLC, a Salt Lake City firm. He can be reached at (801) 366-6063.

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