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Jane Hilboldt Awarded Mobius Legacy Achievement Award

WCOE News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 11:18am

Jane Hilboldt, CEO of Hilboldt Curtainwall in St. Louis, MO, was awarded the Mobius Legacy Achievement Award at the WCOE Gala dinner held at the National Press Club during the 2015 Leadership Conference held in Washington DC on March 30. Jane has served on the National Board of Directors for many years.

Other awards presented at the event included Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Mobius Advocates of the Year, Nancy Novak of Balfour Beatty and Karen A. Sweeney of Turner Construction, Mobius Influential Women in Business and Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary, the Department of Energy was awarded the Mobius Influential Woman in Government. The Mobius Influential Woman in Government Award was also presented posthumously to Tracey Pinson and was accepted by her husband, Darryl Dennis.

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Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall Awarded the Mobius Award for Influential Woman in Government

WCOE News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 11:13am

The WCOE National Leadership Conference was held in Washington DC March 29 to 31. One of the highlights of the conference was the Gala held at the National Press Club on Monday, March 30, where The WCOE Mobius Awards were presented.

Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall was presented with the Mobius Award for Influential Woman in Government. Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall thanked the members of WCOE for being strong role models for women and encouraged attendees to inspire and motivate the next generation of girls entering a male-dominated industry.

Speaking about the role of the Department of Energy as the nation’s technology powerhouse to meet the challenges of energy security, nuclear security and climate change. The innovations developed by the Department provide new energy sources, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the nation’s economy.

The Agency is the second largest procurement agency in the Federal government and operates 17 national laboratories and production facilities throughout the nation where many of the innovations are developed.

Finally, the Deputy Secretary encouraged attendees to get involved with mentoring programs and to reach out to girls in their communities to promote STEM programs and education.

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Rewind and Replay: The Ongoing Saga of Video Privacy Protection Act Suits

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 11:56am
In the 1997 futuristic thriller “Gattaca,” character Vincent Freeman, played by actor Ethan Hawke, falls victim to genetic discrimination after the government begins to track and monitor human DNA strands via the Internet in a scheme to control and manipulate societal trends. While the film’s plot seems nothing short of fantastical, the idea behind it—that […]
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White House Privacy Protection Proposal Sets an Ominous Tone for Future Action

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 9:23am
Since its release in late February, the Obama Administration’s “Discussion Draft: Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2015” has drawn a significant amount of friendly fire from privacy activists and even federal privacy regulators. Their criticism insinuates that the Discussion Draft is at best a floor, a starting point for more stringent regulation. That […]
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Broad Support for Legislation to Provide Certainty to Employers Offering Innovative Employee Wellness Programs

Education & the Workforce Committee - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 4:30pm

The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, introduced by Senate and House leaders last month to provide legal certainty for employers offering innovative employee wellness programs, is receiving broad support from business leaders and health care industry experts.

The bill was introduced last month by Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) with Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) and aims to eliminate confusion caused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for employers offering wellness programs that lower employees’ health insurance premiums to reward healthy lifestyle choices.

“The National Business Group on Health writes in strongsupport of S. 620/H.R. 1189, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act. We applaud your leadership to align government policy and provide legal clarity to support employers’ wellness programs and financial incentives that reward healthy lifestyles….Your proposed legislation would clear up this confusion for employers and the employees who value these programs and aligns the federal government’s policy to consistently support wellness programs.”—Brian J. Marcotte, National Business Group on Health

“To maintain global competitiveness and help achieve good health in our communities, American companies must encourage healthy behavior with every tool in our toolkit. In other words, a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and a productive workforce makes for a healthier American economy. We thank you for your sponsorship of S. 620.”—James A. Klein, American Benefits Council

“We urge the Senate to pass this legislation this year. It is important for Congress to eliminate the legal confusion surrounding wellness program financial incentives that has been caused by the recent legal actions taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and restore certainty for employers who want to reward their employees for leading healthy lifestyles.”—Daniel V. Yager, HR Policy Association

“ERIC applauds you for developing and introducing this legislation, as it would provide legal certainty and eliminate confusion caused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for employers offering wellness programs to their employees. This issue is significant for ERIC members as their wellness plans are part of the comprehensive health benefits they provide to millions of active and retired employees and their families.”—Annette Guarisco Fildes, The ERISA Industry Committee

“NAHU has long been a proponent of group wellness programs and we appreciate your leadership on this important issue for employers and employees alike to be able to participate in wellness programs that will help to both improve overall health and reduce the cost of care. With an ever increasing cost of medical care and health insurance coverage, wellness programs have a demonstrated ability to improve health and save money. Efforts to increase the use of wellness programs and encourage all employees to live a healthy lifestyle will only further these results.”—Janet Trautwein, National Association of Health Underwriters

"The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act will provide employers with more certainty that evidenced-based employee wellness programs designed to meet existing regulatory guidelines will not face unnecessary litigation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Passage of this bill will protect crucial tools for employer wellness programs, biometric screenings, health risk assessments, and premium incentives, which help employees receive interventions best suited to their health needs and goals.”—Mary R. Grealy, Healthcare Leadership Council

“This legislation provides legal certainty and eliminates confusion arising from action by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for employers offering employee wellness programs that lower health insurance premiums to reward healthy lifestyle choices. The legislation provides support for those employers, who may be hesitant to provide wellness programs for fear of violating EEOC requirements.”—Kathryn Mueller, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

“On behalf of the undersigned organizations, which represent millions of employers who employ tens of millions of employees, we write to express our support for S. 620, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, and to thank you for sponsoring this important legislation. S. 620 will provide much needed clarification over the legality of voluntary workplace wellness programs and employers’ use of financial incentives to encourage participation in such programs.”—Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, Food Marketing Institute, HR Policy Association, Independent Electrical Contractors, International Foodservice Distributors Association, International Franchise Association, International Public Management Association for Human Resources, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Federation of Independent Business, National Grocers Association, National Public Employer Labor Relations Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Society for Human Resource Management, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce link

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GSA Seeks Solar Developer for Multi-Site Power Purchase Agreement in CA, NV

GSA news releases - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 1:00am
This Interagency Energy Procurement Will Help Achieve the Administration’s 2025 Renewable Energy Goal

Playing Field May Continue to Shift for Patent Litigants on Willful Infringement

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Contributor–Intellectual Property (Patents) Jeffri A. Kaminski, Venable LLP While various patent reform proposals percolate on Capitol Hill, the courts continue to decide cases that impact the issues. A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. maintains the current standard for enhanced damages […]
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House, Senate Leaders Denounce President’s Veto of Joint Resolution to Stop NLRB Ambush Election Rule

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 12:00am
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) denounced President Obama’s veto today of their Congressional Review Act joint resolution to stop the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from implementing its “ambush election” rule.
Under the Congressional Review Act, the House and Senate can vote on a joint resolution of disapproval to stop, with the full force of law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation or issuing a substantially similar regulation without congressional authorization. The resolution passed the House on March 19 by a vote of 232 to 186, after passing the Senate last month by a vote of 53-46.
“The NLRB’s ambush election rule is an assault on the rights and privacy protections of American workers," said Speaker of the House John Boehner. "With his veto, the president has once again put the interests of his political allies ahead of the small business owners and hardworking Americans who create jobs and build a stronger economy.”

“The President’s partisan veto will further empower powerful political bosses at the expense of the rights of middle-class workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Republicans believe workers have the right to make their own, informed choices when casting a ballot in the workplace; we don’t think powerful political bosses should rush or force that decision on them, as the ambush rule proposes. We’ll continue to stand strong against Obama Administration attempts to weaken workers’ rights in order to enrich its powerful political friends.”
“President Obama has decided to stand with his powerful friends in Big Labor, rather than America’s workers and job creators,” said Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “With his veto, the president has endorsed an ambush election rule that will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of working families. This fight isn’t over. Congress will continue to oppose this radical assault on workers and employers, and we will continue to demand a fair union election process.” 

“The NLRB’s new ambush election rule forces a union election in as little as 11 days—before an employer and most employees even have a chance to figure out what is going on,” said Alexander, chairman of the Senate labor committee. “I’m disappointed the president wasted this opportunity to prevent the board’s rule from infringing on every employee’s right to privacy and every employer’s right to free speech.”
“With this veto, President Obama has further proved his administration is more concerned with supporting union bosses than ensuring a fair and impartial process that respects workers’ privacy and right to make decisions that are best for them,” said Roe, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. “For far too long, we’ve seen the Obama administration’s activist NLRB – which should ensure fair and transparent union elections – put the interests of labor unions before those of job creators and American workers. This latest rule is nothing more than an attempt to speed up union elections, violating the rights of workers to make an informed decision and employers to communicate openly with their employees during a union organizing campaign.”
"It’s disappointing that President Obama chose to side with big labor over the rights of employees and employers,” said Enzi, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “With this rule the National Labor Relations Board has taken it upon itself to impose new regulations that would hurt businesses and undermine a process that is already providing fair and timely elections. The NLRB needs to know that this rule is out of bounds.”
BACKGROUND: The NLRB’s rule was finalized in December and would shorten the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held to as little as 11 days. In 2014, more than 95 percent of union certification elections occurred within 56 days. In addition, the median number of days from petition to election was 38 days. These numbers surpass the performance goals set by the NLRB itself. The rule gives employers no time to communicate with their employees before a union election and undermines the ability of workers to make an informed decision. In addition, it forces employers to provide employees’ personal information to union organizers without employees’ consent. The ambush election rule will go into effect April 14, 2015. 

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Thune Statement on Senate Vote to Approve Open Internet Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate last night, under unanimous consent, approved an amendment offered by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) stating the need for Congress to “protect the open Internet in a manner that provides clear and certain rules and does not jeopardize public safety, universal service, privacy, accessibility, consumer protection, competition, innovation, or investment.”
Thune, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, tonight issued the following statement on the amendment v...

Five Highlights Surrounding New Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Column – Environmental Law and Policy by Samuel B. Boxerman, Sidley Austin LLP, with Katharine Newman, Sidley Austin LLP On March 20, 2015, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal land managed by BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, as well […]
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Supreme Court’s “Omnicare” Decision Follows Middle Path Advocated by Lane Powell and WLF

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:53pm
Guest Commentary By Douglas W. Greene and Claire Loebs Davis, Shareholders with Lane Powell PC in Seattle, Washington. They co-authored WLF’s amicus brief pro bono in Omnicare. In the opinion issued on March 24 in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund (“Omnicare”), the Supreme Court rejected the two extremes advocated by […]
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Committee on Small Business Markup

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:00pm
On Wednesday March 25, 2015  the Committee on Small Business will hold a markup  at 1:00 P.M. to consider H.R. 1481, "Small Contractors Improve Competition Act of 2015." The markup will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.   The hearing will be webstreamed live HERE.

The markup will consist of the following bills:  H.R. 1481 " Small Contractors Improve Competition Act of 2015. It is possible that an amendment in the nature of a substitute or some other legislative vehicle will be provided Monday pursuant to the Committee's Rules.

Opening Statement:

Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

    Related Documents:

  • Markup Notice 
  • H.R.1481

    The Supreme Court Should Not Abandon “Stare Decisis” in “Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises” Case Given Reliance Interest

    WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 11:59am
    The Supreme Court’s 1964 decision in Brulotte v. Thys Co. has been among the Court’s more heavily criticized patent law decisions. A number of academics and appeals court judges have complained that Brulotte, which establishes a rule governing construction of patent licensing agreements, is based on a misunderstanding of the economic considerations underlying such agreements. […]
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    Commerce Committee Approves Five Bills and Three Nominations

    The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved five bills by voice vote and three nominations.

    Executive Session

    Senate Commmerce will consider five legislative measures and three nominations.


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