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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

Spending Bill Leaves NLRB Budget Unchanged From 2016, Nixes Electronic Voting

The National Labor Relations Board’s wish that its budget for fiscal year 2017 be increased over its FY 2016 budget apparently will not be granted. According to Politico, at $274.2 million, Congress has left the NLRB’s budget unchanged from FY 2016. This is despite NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin’s view, stated in a March 10, … Continue Reading

Solicitor General Reviewing Government’s Position in Class Action Waivers Cases

Last week, the Supreme Court extended the deadline for initial briefs from April 28, 2017 to June 9, 2017 in three consolidated cases raising the issue whether arbitration agreements between individual employees and their employers that bar the employees from pursuing work-related claims on a collective or class basis are lawful under the National Labor … Continue Reading

Senate Approves Acosta To Head DOL

Alexander Acosta was confirmed on Thursday to serve as President Donald J. Trump’s Secretary of Labor.  Acosta was approved by a vote of 60-38, according to Employment Law360. Acosta has held several government positions, having been an NLRB Member, head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and United States Attorney in South Florida.  Most recently, … Continue Reading

NLRB Ruling on Joint Employers Should be Reversed, Congressional Republicans Urge

Two years after the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), which overturned 30 years of precedent, 57 members of Congress, mostly Republicans, supported by business owner advocacy group Workforce Fairness Institute, are urging the Subcommittee on Labor, HHS & Education Committee on Appropriations “to include … Continue Reading

Miscimarra Named NLRB Chairman

The National Labor Relations Board has announced that Republican Philip A. Miscimarra has been named NLRB Chairman by President Donald J. Trump.  Miscimarra had been designated Acting Chairman by President Trump on January 23, 2017. Miscimarra has served as a Board Member since August 7, 2013, and is the sole Republican Member currently serving on the … 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

DOL Nominee’s Confirmation Hearing To Take Place Next Week

The confirmation hearing for Secretary of Labor-nominee Andrew Puzder before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee will take place on February 16, according to Politico. The hearing has been delayed four times. The last one, scheduled for February 7, was put off “indefinitely” because the HELP committee had not received the required … Continue Reading

NLRB GC Instructs Regions to Hold on Class Action Waiver Cases Until Supreme Court Rules

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has instructed Regional Offices to hold in abeyance cases involving mandatory arbitration agreements with opt in or opt out clauses. Regions must do the same in cases where an employer argues that the class action waiver in its arbitration agreement is different than the one at … 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

Defamation Verdict Drives Union into Bankruptcy

A Texas jury has awarded a company $7.8 million in compensatory damages and interest after finding Service Employees International Union Local 5 significantly damaged the company’s business through false claims of workplace violations. As a result, Local 5 has filed for federal bankruptcy protection. In 2006, Local 5 launched the infamous “Justice for Janitors” campaign … Continue Reading

Puzder Chosen to Head DOL: Many Changes Expected

President-elect Donald Trump has announced his intention to nominate Andrew Puzder, Chief Executive Officer of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, to head the U.S. Department of Labor. Puzder has criticized state and local minimum wage increases, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and government overregulation, among other things. If Puzder is … Continue Reading

Non-Union, Specialty Lights Maker Must Return Work from Mexico, Federal Appeals Court Rules

The NLRB properly found a non-union employer unlawfully retaliated against striking employees and violated the National Labor Relations Act by transferring work from Illinois to Mexico, the federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled. Amglo Kemlite Labs., Inc. v. NLRB, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15100 (7th Cir. Aug. 17, 2016). The Court enforced the Board’s … 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

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

NLRB Requires Employer to Bargain with Union over Unilateral Use of Temp Agency Employees and E-Verify

An Administrative Law Judge of the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that a meat processing company had violated provisions of the National Labor Relations Act when it utilized a temporary employment agency to fill vacant bargaining unit positions, and enrolled in the E-Verify program without first adequately notifying or bargaining with the local union. … Continue Reading

New Georgia Law Says Franchisors Generally Not Employers of Franchisees or Franchisees’ Workers

The “Protecting Georgia Small Businesses Act” amends Georgia’s Labor and Industrial Relations Code to provide that neither a franchisee nor a franchisee’s employee is considered an employee of a franchisor for “any purpose.” However, the amendment does not apply to Georgia Workers’ Compensation Code. The Act goes into effect on January 1, 2017. The Georgia … 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

DOL’s New “Persuader Activities” Rule Is Finalized – Effective Late April 2016

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will publish its final rule relating to “persuader” activity under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) on March 24, 2016, almost five years after first proposing it. The rule (which was opposed by, among others, the American Bar Association, Association of Corporate Counsel, the … 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

NLRB Says Beer Dealer’s Refusal-To-Drug-Test Firing Doesn’t Mix With “Weingarten Rights”

Brewing more trouble for workplace drug testing, the National Labor Relations Board has held a New York beer distributor violated the National Labor Relations Act by denying its driver helper, who reported to work with his clothes “reek[ing] of the smell of marijuana” and with “glassy” and “bloodshot” eyes, and was directed to take a drug test … Continue Reading

Public Union Dues Comes under Supreme Court Scrutiny

The constitutionality of “fair share” provisions, requiring non-members covered by public-sector collective bargaining agreements to pay union fees, will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915. In Friedrichs, ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International sued the California Teachers Association, the National Education Association, and others, … Continue Reading

New Texas Law Says Franchisors, with Exception, Not Employers of Franchisees’ Workers

The Texas Labor Code has been amended to provide that a franchisor is not considered an employer for claims related to employment discrimination, wage payment, the Texas Minimum Wage Act, and the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, among other laws. According to S.B. 652, this is so unless the franchisor has been found by a state … Continue Reading
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