U.S. Court of Appeals upholds EPA's greenhouse gas rules
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington unanimously upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas rules yesterday, saying the EPA properly concluded that greenhouse gases are pollutants and that opponents of the new regulations do not have the legal right to challenge the Clean Air Act to determine when states and businesses must comply.
"Today’s ruling is a setback for businesses facing damaging regulations from the EPA," said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). "The EPA’s decision to move forward with these regulations is one of the most costly, complex and burdensome regulations facing manufacturers. These regulations will harm their ability to hire, invest and grow."
NAM is reviewing the court’s decision and will consider further legal options on appeal. The EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations will eventually require new burdensome permitting requirements for more than six million stationary sources, including 200,000 manufacturing facilities, 37,000 farms and millions of other sources such as universities, schools, hospitals and even American homes.
NLRB continues efforts to expand its realm of influence
By Michael D. Carrouth, Esquire, partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP
Over the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has gone out of its way to help organized labor. Because these efforts have occurred while union win rates in representation elections have stayed well above 65 percent, it is difficult to understand why the NLRB has taken this approach. Unfortunately, this trend is continuing.
Recently, two of the NLRB’s primary initiatives – the requirement that private employers post a notice regarding employee rights and the implementation of an expedited election process – have been delayed due to various legal challenges. Despite these setbacks, it is clear the NLRB is continuing to focus on publicizing and expanding the scope of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and its own role.
On June 18, the NLRB published a webpage describing “protected, concerted rights” or the rights employees have to act together for their mutual aid and protection (www.nlrb.gov/concerted-activity). Union and non-union employees have these rights under the NLRA. In justifying these efforts, NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston explained, “A right only has a value when people know it exists…. We think the right to engage in protected concerted activity is one of the best kept secrets of the National Labor Relations Act, and more important than ever in these difficult economic times.”
To help get the secret out, the NLRB’s new webpage allows users to access summaries of 13 cases in which employees successfully asserted claims based on their protected, concerted rights. A review of the webpage and these cases confirms the NLRB is going beyond a mere explanation of the applicable legal rights and is encouraging the filing of more charges. For example, while the NLRB has gone to great lengths to summarize these successful charges, it has provided absolutely no information on charges that were dismissed or in which employees erroneously claimed protected, concerted rights. There is no balanced explanation of the law. Read more.
Announcing the 2012 South Carolina Manufacturer of the Year nominees
Congratulations to the 2012 South Carolina Manufacturer of the Year nominees! All nominees and winners will be honored during the 2012 Manufacturer of the Year Awards Luncheon, presented by Nexsen Pruet, August 29 in Columbia. Learn more about sponsorships and registration.
Allied Air Enterprises
The Boeing Company
Carolina Ingredients, Inc.
Cytec Industries, Inc.
Holcim (US) Inc.
Lockhart Power Company
Procter & Gamble Duracell Manufacturing
Scout Boats Inc.
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturer of the Year awards program recognizes companies that strive for manufacturing excellence, have a positive economic impact, remain committed to workforce development and are outstanding community stewards. For more information, contact Alexa Stillwell at 803-255-2621.
South Carolina Big 50 applications due August 10
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the 2012 South Carolina Big 50, the ranking of South Carolina’s private, public and foreign-affiliated companies by the number of employees on their payrolls as of June 30, 2012. Businesses may download a nomination form from J.W. Hunt & Company LLP’s website. The deadline for nominations is Friday, August 10.
The South Carolina Big 50 is compiled by J.W. Hunt and Company LLP, a Columbia accounting firm, in cooperation with the South Carolina Chamber. The 2012 South Carolina Big 50 will appear in the November/December 2012 edition of South Carolina Business magazine.
All companies with operations in South Carolina are eligible for the South Carolina Big 50, which is tabulated according to participant responses received. Participants are asked to provide their employment figures, location of corporate headquarters and products/services.
The South Carolina Big 50 includes company subsidiaries and divisions (both private and public), and parent companies do not need to be located in South Carolina. While the South Carolina Big 50 does include financial institutions, insurance companies, retailers, hospitals and health care organizations, it excludes government agencies and organizations. For more information, contact Anne Ross at 803-254-8196.