Archives: Collective Bargaining

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Senate Confirms Kaplan for Vacant Board Seat, Moving NLRB Closer to Pro-Business Majority

The United States Senate has narrowly confirmed former counsel to the Commissioner of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Marvin Kaplan to one of two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board. Kaplan’s confirmations leaves one vacant seat on the five-member Board. President Donald Trump has nominated management labor lawyer William Emanuel for … Continue Reading

Missouri Law Prohibits Costly Public Project Labor Agreements

On May 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed legislation generally barring public entities from requiring job-specific union contracts called “project labor agreements” on public construction projects.   The legislation, effective August 28, 2017, prohibits public entities from requiring contractors to enter into project labor agreements and from discriminating against, encouraging, or giving preferential treatment to … Continue Reading

Federal Court Washes Away New York City’s Pro-Union Ordinance

A New York City ordinance requiring car wash companies to post a higher surety bond if they do not sign a union bargaining agreement covering their employees is invalid because it unlawfully favors unionization, and therefore runs afoul of the National Labor Relations Act, a federal district court judge has ruled on May 26, 2017. … Continue Reading

Unions Winning More Elections, But Organizing Fewer New Workers

Unions won 72% of all representation elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board in 2016, and 74% when the election involved a small unit of 49 workers or less, according to a Bloomberg BNA report based on NLRB data. These percentages are a four-year high for unions. At the same time, fewer workers were … Continue Reading

NLRB’s New Joint Employer Standard Receives Chilly Reception During Court of Appeals Hearing

The National Labor Relations Board’s new, expanded “joint employer” standard faced sharp criticism during oral argument at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In Browning-Ferris, the Board created a broad new standard for determining whether two entities are joint employers. The case involved Browning Ferris Industries of California, Inc. … Continue Reading

House Bill Spotlights Paid Union Activities By Federal Employees

A House bill would require federal agencies to report annually on the amount of “official time” (i.e., taxpayer-paid time) that federal employees spend on union activities rather than working at their regular job duties. H.R. 1293 (the “Official Time Reform Act of 2017”) was introduced by Rep. David Ross (R-Fla.) on March 1, 2017, and … Continue Reading

Short List of Possible Trump NLRB Candidates Reported

President Donald J. Trump has narrowed his list of candidates to fill the two open seats on the five-member National Labor Relations Board to Marvin Kaplan, William Emanuel, and Douglas Seaton, according to Bloomberg BNA. Emanuel and Seaton are labor attorneys and Kaplan is counsel to the Commissioner of the Occupational Safety and Health Review … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Concludes Division I Scholarship Football Players are Employees under Labor Law

Scholarship football players in Division I FBS private sector colleges and universities are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard F. Griffin has concluded. Accordingly, he explained, the players have all of the rights and protections available to employees under the Act. Click here to read the full … Continue Reading

Public Sector Employees in Three States Sue to Nix Fair Share Fees

Four Pennsylvania school teachers, two Santa Clara Valley Medical Center pharmacists, and three New York school workers have filed separate suits challenging the constitutionality of state requirements permitting the unions that represent them to require them, if they do not join and pay dues, to pay a “fair share fee” (similar in amount to the … Continue Reading

NLRB Joint Employer Case Will Be Heard by Federal Appeals Court on March 9

Oral argument on Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc.’s appeal seeking to overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s  landmark joint employer decision, Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015), has been scheduled for March 9, 2017, by the U.S.  Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Browning-Ferris decision … Continue Reading

Court Halts Labor Department’s New Persuader Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division, has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor’s “persuader” rule promulgated under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Perez, Civil Action No. 5:16-cv-00066-C (N.D. Tex. June 27, 2016). Unless the ruling … Continue Reading

No Supreme Court Rehearing in Case on Public Sector Unions’ Right to Charge Mandatory Union Fees

The United States Supreme Court has refused to rehear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al., in which the Court had issued a 4-4 opinion in April. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915 (Mar. 29, 2016). Friedrichs  sought to overrule, on First Amendment grounds, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a 1977 Supreme Court … Continue Reading

NLRB Drops 30-Year Precedent on Employers’ Right to Unilaterally Oust Unions Representing ‘Mixed-Guard’ Units

A divided National Labor Relations Board has overturned its 30-year-old rule that an employer may withdraw recognition, even without a showing of a loss of majority status, from a voluntarily-recognized union that represents both guards and non-guards (“mixed-guard union”) with respect to a unit of guards. Adopting a new rule proposed by the NLRB General … Continue Reading

Minnesota Court Rules in Persuader Lawsuit, Finds “Strong Likelihood” of Success on the Merits, But Rule Remains Effective July 1

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota today ruled in Labnet Inc. d/b/a Worklaw Network, et al v. United States Department of Labor, et al, that the plaintiffs have a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their lawsuit challenging the DOL’s new “persuader” rule, but refused to stay or enjoin the rule. Therefore, for now, … Continue Reading

Labor Board Will Decide Organizing Rights of Non-Teaching Employees at Religious Colleges, Universities

The National Labor Relations Board is set to decide if the same test used to determine whether teaching employees of a religious school are subject to the Board’s jurisdiction should be extended to non-teaching employees. Islamic Saudi Academy, Case 05-RC-080474 (May 12, 2016). The Board in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157 (2014), adopted … Continue Reading

Doubling Down: NLRB Joint Employer Standard Under Dual Review

Whether the National Labor Relations Board’s recently articulated joint employer standard can withstand judicial scrutiny is about to be tested. Browning Ferris Industries of California has filed a petition for review (in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit) of the NLRB’s bargaining order, asking the Court to deny enforcement … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Right of Public Sector Unions to Charge Mandatory Union Fees

By a 4-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court ruling that public sector unions could require employees to pay an agency fee to a union as a condition of employment. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915 (Mar. 29, 2016). The plaintiffs had argued that their First Amendment rights were violated … Continue Reading

Public Sector Union Fees Continue to Hang in the Balance With Scalia’s Passing

The recent death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia will give public sector unions a short respite in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al., a case that was likely to limit public sector unions’ ability to require mandatory fees from public workers. Following January’s oral arguments before the High Court, many legal analysts expected a … Continue Reading

Multiemployer Pension Plan Lowers Threshold That Triggers Partial Withdrawal Liability Payments

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (“UFCW”) National Pension Fund (which, according to its website has over 500 contributing employers and over 100,000 active participants) has adopted a new rule effective as of the plan year ending on June 30, 2014 which increases the risk that a participating employer will unknowingly create a … Continue Reading

Teamsters Local Pension Fund Latest to Request Reduction in Vested Member Benefits

Citing the threat of future insolvency, a New Jersey Teamsters Local Pension Fund has applied to the U.S. Treasury Department for permission to reduce by 40 percent the vested member benefits in the Fund. The Fund’s application is the third pension fund reduction application filed by unions in recent months. The Teamsters Local 469 Pension … Continue Reading

Browning-Ferris Appeals ‘Joint Employer’ Decision to U.S. Court of Appeals

Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. (“BFI”) has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the National Labor Relations Board’s January 20, 2016 decision that it, a waste management company, and Leadpoint Business Services, Inc. (“Leadpoint”), a staffing agency that provided employees to BFI, were joint employers of those employees under … Continue Reading

Labor Department Joins Joint-Employer Controversy with Interpretation of Fair Labor Standards Act

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has issued an Administrator’s Interpretation on joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act taking a broad view of joint employment. To read about the DOL’s interpretation, click here. This fuels the fire ignited by the National Labor Relations Board’s broad new standard for determining joint-employer … Continue Reading

NLRB Joint-Employer Decision Moves Closer to Review by Circuit Court of Appeals

The NLRB’s landmark Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. decision, creating a new joint employer standard, has taken another step toward judicial review in a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On August 27, 2015, the Board found that Browning-Ferris and Leadpoint Business Services were joint employers of certain workers that BFI subcontracted from Leadpoint. After an … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Justices Appear Ready to Overturn Mandatory Union Fees for Public Sector Employees

The United States Supreme Court appears headed toward outlawing “agency-shop” or “fair share” provisions in public sector collective bargaining agreements, requiring non-members to pay union fees, sometimes reluctantly, in lieu of dues.  Frederichs v. Cal. Teachers Ass’n, No. 14-915, argued Jan. 11, 2016. The Supreme Court held in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 … Continue Reading
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