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Labor & Collective Bargaining

Tag Archives: National Labor Relations Board

NLRB’s “Quickie Election” Rules Effective Today

The National Labor Relations Board’s new “quickie election” rules go into effect today. (Two lawsuits challenging the rules are still pending.) Read here for more information on the rules and their impact on your organization. To learn more about the rules and other important NLRB developments, attend Jackson Lewis’ seminar, “Surveying the New Labor Law… Continue Reading

NLRB Expands Scope of Union Representatives’ Permissible Conduct during Investigatory Interviews under Weingarten

In a 2-to-1 decision, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board has held it was unlawful for an employer to threaten a union steward with suspension for showing an employee, during the employer’s investigative interview about a violation of company procedure, the steward’s answer to a question asked by the interviewer, which was… Continue Reading

NLRB’s Renewed Focus On Immigration Issues Affects Complaint Cases

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has instructed agency regional directors and other officials charged with investigating unfair labor practice charges to consider whether the immigration status of affected employees may affect the Board’s ability to proceed in litigation and fashion effective remedies. On February 27, 2015, General Counsel Robert F. Griffin,… Continue Reading

House Joins Senate in Symbolic ‘Disapproval’ of Quickie Election Rule; Presidential Veto All but Certain

The House of Representatives voted 232-186 on March 19th to disapprove the new NLRB election rules slated to go into effect on April 14th. The Senate passed a similar resolution of disapproval on March 4th. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has the authority to “disapprove” (and thus nullify) an agency rule. However, as with… Continue Reading

Under What Circumstances Can An Employer Restrict Employees from Using Its Email System? The Answer Will Have to Wait

In Purple Communications, the National Labor Relations Board held that, absent “special circumstances” justifying specific restrictions, federal labor law requires employers to permit employees who have been provided access to their employer’s email system to use that system for union and other protected communications on non-working time. Purple Communications, Inc. 361 NLRB No. 126 (Dec…. Continue Reading

Congressmen Ask NLRB General Counsel to Explain ‘Joint-Employer’ Comments

Three Republican Congressmen – Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Representative John Kline (R-Minn.) — have requested National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard Griffin to explain joint-employer comments he made at an October 24, 2014 labor conference urging the NLRB to adopt a more liberal joint-employer standard. Griffin has issued several… Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Fails to Extend Weingarten Rights to Search of Company Vehicles

A unionized employer may search a company vehicle without affording the employee who uses the vehicle an opportunity to exercise his “Weingarten rights” to have a union representative present during the search, according to an Advice Memorandum from the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Southwestern Bell Telephone Company,… Continue Reading

NLRB Division of Advice on Making Unilateral Changes when Employer and Union are at Negotiations Stalemate

A unionized employer did not violate the National Labor Relations Act when, after reaching a bargaining impasse with the union, it unilaterally issued a health care proposal that gave it broad discretion to make unilateral changes to certain parts of the health care plan. According to a Memorandum issued by the National Labor Relations Board’s… Continue Reading

Congress Reviews NLRB Quickie Election Rule

In response to a move by House and Senate Republicans to block the NLRB’s “quickie election” rules, scheduled to take effect on April 14, 2015, National Labor Relations Board Chairman Mark G. Pearce issued the following statement on February 9: “The Board remains committed to the critical work of this agency and fully carrying out… Continue Reading

NLRB Begins New “Educational” Campaign in Run-Up to Quickie Election Rule

In a series of tweets, the National Labor Relations Board is using social media in an attempt to increase  concerted and union activity under the NLRA. Starting on February 4, 2015, the NLRB began tweeting exhortations to non-union employees  to utilize the Agency’s services and notifications to all employees about the broad jurisdictional reach of the NLRA:  Who… Continue Reading

Chapter Two: Lawsuits Filed Challenging NLRB’s New Election Rules

Seeking a declaratory judgment and injunction against enforcement of the National Labor Relations Board’s new “quickie” election rule, on January 13, 2015, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc., Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., Central Texas Chapter, and National Federation of Independent Business/Texas filed a complaint against the NLRB in the United States District… Continue Reading

Michigan Excludes Student-Athletes from Unions

Michigan has become the first state to exclude intercollegiate student-athletes at its public universities from the definition of a “public employee,” and therefore, the right to bargain collectively through a union. An amendment to Michigan’s Public Employee Relations Act signed by Governor Rick Snyder excludes from the definition of “public employee” (1) “a student participating… Continue Reading

NLRB Announces New Standards for Exercising Jurisdiction Over Religiously-Affiliated Colleges and Universities and for Determining Whether Faculty are Managers Excluded from Collective Bargaining

In what is certain to be a controversial decision that could spark widespread organizing of faculty in private colleges and universities, the National Labor Relations Board adopted new standards for determining whether to exercise jurisdiction over self-identified religious colleges and universities under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Catholic Bishop, 440 U.S. 490… Continue Reading

Franchisor-Franchisee Relationship Focus of NLRB General Counsel

The National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel has announced it has issued more than a dozen unfair labor practice complaints against McDonald’s franchisees and McDonald’s USA, LLC, as joint employers.  The complaints allege that McDonald’s USA, LLC and certain franchisees violated the rights of employees working at McDonald’s restaurants at various locations… Continue Reading

Board Adopts Presumption That Employees Can Use Employer’s Email System to Engage in Protected Activity

In a controversial but not unexpected decision, reversing precedent, a majority of the National Labor Relations Board held that absent special circumstances that justify specific restrictions employers must permit employees who have been provided access to their employer’s email system to use email for statutorily protected communications on their nonworking time  Purple Communications, Inc., 361… Continue Reading

NLRB Issues Final “Quickie” Election Rule

The National Labor Relations Board has adopted a final rule amending its representation–case procedures. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on December 15, and will take effect on April 14, 2015. The final rule was approved by Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Members Kent Y. Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer. Board Members… Continue Reading

NLRB Requires Employers to Let Employees Use Workplace Email Systems for Union and Concerted Activities, Overruling 2007 Decision

In a landmark and not-unexpected ruling, the National Labor Relations Board decided today to require employers to allow their employees to use company email systems for Section 7 (union organizing and protected concerted activity) purposes during nonworking time.  Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 126 (Dec. 11, 2014). The decision overrules the Board’s 2007 Register Guard… Continue Reading

Senate Confirms Lauren McFerran as Member of National Labor Relations Board

On December 8, the Senate confirmed Lauren McFerran (D) as a member of the National Labor Relations Board by a vote of 54-40, along party lines. Ms.  McFerran will replace Democrat Nancy Schiffer, whose appointment is set to expire December 16, 2014.  Employers should expect that her views will be similar to Member Schiffer’s pro-labor… Continue Reading

Substantial Doubt Cast on Imminence of “Quickie” Election Rule

Despite widespread expectations that the National Labor Relations Board would issue its final revised “quickie” election rules prior to the expiration of NLRB Member Nancy Schiffer’s term on December 16, 2014 (to avoid being frustrated by a 2-2 Republican-Democrat split after her departure), recent events suggest the Board might not be so eager to issue… Continue Reading

Senate Labor Committee Recommends Senate Confirmation of Democrat McFerran to the NLRB

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has voted to recommend Senate confirmation of Democrat Lauren McFerran, President Barack Obama’s recent nominee  to the National Labor Relations Board.  During the December 2 vote, McFerran’s nomination was supported by the 12 Democrats on the Committee and opposed by all 10 Republicans. According to Senate… Continue Reading

District Court Orders NLRB Regional Director to Pay Over $55,000 in Attorneys’ Fees to Employer in 10(j) Fight

A U.S. District Court Judge in Arizona has ordered the National Labor Relations Board’s Regional Director in Phoenix, acting on behalf of the Board, to pay $55,000 in attorneys’ fees to an employer sued for a temporary injunction over the firing of four recently hired employees, despite awarding the Regional Director much of the relief… Continue Reading

NLRB’s Johnson and Griffin Review Pitfalls Associated With Employer Monitoring of Social Media

Officials of the National Labor Relations Board recently weighed in on the legal risks employers bear under the National Labor Relations Act when monitoring employee/applicant use of social media. During a panel discussion in Pennsylvania [as reported in Law360 (November 12, 2014)], Board Member Harry Johnson and NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin confirmed what may… Continue Reading