OK, so I waited a bit, and a month of 2016 has already passed. Still, I promised that I'd give you my predictions for the year, so here they are:
Political firings: Since it's an election year, we'll hear about people being fired for discussing politics at work, for supporting the wrong candidate, and for being involved in certain campaigns. We'll also hear some threats from CEOs and other corporate types that if their employees vote for certain candidates (read: not Republicans) they'll be fired. Is that illegal? Depends on the state. In some cases, it depends on the city or county. Should be an interesting and litigious campaign season.
LGBT discrimination: Some states and localities will pass laws against LGBT discrimination, but my home state of Florida will fail again.
Obama to the rescue: The President will continue to be active with his pen. He'll try to squeeze in some more pro-employee executive orders before he goes to the big speaking circuit.
Clear choice: The candidates for President will make their positions on working people very clear. You will need to vote very carefully. You could easily lose many workplace rights if you vote wrong.
EEOC steps up: EEOC will step up its activities in one final burst before the new President gets a chance to gut it (or not gut it - see above about voting well).
NLRB steps up: NLRB will also try to help working people as much as it can while it still can. Employers will complain bitterly.
Do-nothing Congress: Congress will do zip to help working people. They're too busy campaigning and fighting among themselves. They will try some anti-employee crap. The President will veto it.
Criminalization: We'll see more employees arrested and prosecuted for things like trade secrets violations, whereas employers who steal wages will walk.
Joint employer: Whether franchises and placement agencies are joint employers with parent companies and the companies employees are placed with will be a hot issue this year. Federal agencies say yes. Some courts will say no. The Supremes won't decide this year, so more litigation will ensue.
Guns at work redux: We have many states with take-your-guns-to-work laws that protect employees from being fired as long as they have guns in lock boxes in their vehicles. Now employees and the NRA are going to push to allow employees with concealed weapons permits to carry into the workplace. Next, if they succeed, they'll push open carry in the workplace. Will employers wake up and rise up against the NRA? Not likely this year because they're supporting the same candidates. Be careful what you wish for, employers.
There will be lots more going on than all this because the elections usually cause some havoc. But here you have my predictions for the year. Vote well, so I can have some good predictions in 2017.
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