Obama’s Nanny State for Employers
Obama’s employment law agenda consists of laying siege to employers’ management rights.
In a prior post, I summarized the one-sided rulings of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, which are seemingly designed to bolster the declining ranks of organized labor in the private sector. Obama’s aggressive anti-employer agenda extends to other agencies having jurisdiction over the employment relationship: the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Unlike the NLRB’s pro-union orientation, however, some of the notable policy initiatives of these other agencies are calculated solely to impose unreasonable restrictions on employers—command and control for its own sake.
In a free society, the government limits businesses’ inherent “management rights” only to the extent necessary to remedy a real problem, and federal regulation is reserved for nationalproblems within the limited jurisdiction of the federal government. Obama’s goal, in contrast, appears to be to micromanage employers just to satisfy progressives’ meddlesome urge to wield the levers of power. Hiring, firing, and supervising employees are core prerogatives of businesses, typically regulated, if at all, at the state level. Under Obama, bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. have claimed dominion over aspects of the employment relationship that were previously considered to be outside the purview of federal regulation. That the power grab by Obama’s administrative agencies extends to such routine aspects of the employment relationship makes the bureaucratic overreach all the more objectionable.
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