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Missourians Reject Right-to-Work

Missouri voters have rejected right-to-work. Senate Bill 19, which would have made Missouri the nation’s 28th right-to-work state, was passed by the Missouri legislature on February 2, 2017, and signed into law by then-Governor Eric Greitens. Labor organizations and their supporters gathered enough signatures to keep the law from going into effect until voters in … Continue Reading

Weingarten Rights Not Violated; Employee Lawfully Terminated for Refusal to Take Drug/Alcohol Test

An employee’s Weingarten rights have limits, especially as to drug and alcohol testing, where time is often of the essence, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge has held. Fred Meyer Stores, Inc., No. 19-CA-206136 (July 2, 2018). The National Labor Relations Board has long-recognized unionized employees’ right to have a union representative present for investigative meetings … Continue Reading

NLRB Member Pearce, One of Two Remaining Democrats, May Not Get Third Term

The Trump Administration is being asked not to give Member Mark Gaston Pearce, one of two remaining Democrats on the National Labor Relations Board, another term after his current term, his second, expires on August 27, Bloomberg BNA has reported. Industry groups reportedly have asked the President to delay re-nominating Member Pearce to a third … Continue Reading

NLRB GC: Employer Can Refuse Union’s Request to Record Meetings and Interviews

The National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s Division of Advice has concluded that an employer could refuse to allow a union’s representatives to record monthly team meetings and investigatory interviews. GE Appliances, Haier, 21-CA-202535 (Div. of Advice, Apr. 17, 2018, released May 15, 2018). The Division found the refusal was lawful based upon the Board’s … Continue Reading

Seattle Ordinance Giving Drivers Right to Collectively Bargain Not Preempted by NLRA

A landmark law giving drivers of app-based transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft, the right to collectively bargain is not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, a three-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. City of Seattle, No. 17-35640 (9th Cir. May 11, 2018). … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Valid

Class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements do not violate federal law, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a much-anticipated decision in three critical cases. Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP et al. v. Morris et al., No. 16-300; National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et … Continue Reading

Jackson Lewis Responds to NLRB Request for Information on Election Rules

Jackson Lewis, which has represented management before the National Labor Relations Board for 60 years, has filed its comments suggesting several important changes to the NLRB’s far-reaching 2014 election rule amendments.   In December 2017, the Board asked the public to submit comments on the efficacy of its 2014 election rule amendments, expressly asking if … Continue Reading

Charter Schools Covered by NLRA? Not in Texas

The U.S. has more than 6,000 charter schools. They are authorized in almost every state. While state laws vary, their purpose is the same: to permit alternatives to traditional public schools, unbound by local school districts or district-wide collective bargaining agreements that can stifle innovation. These laws frame charters as public schools, subject to the … Continue Reading

Infighting at NLRB

In response to new National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb’s proposed changes to case processing and regional office structure, two groups of senior managers and organizations representing the Board’s front-line staff deemed Robb’s ideas an “existential threat” aimed to destroy the NLRB from the inside. A group of NLRB associate regional directors indicated … Continue Reading

Changes

The song “Changes,” written by Phil Ochs, provides an opportune prism to examine the arguably cataclysmic changes implemented and portended by the new employer-friendly majority at the NLRB at the end of 2017 and expected in 2018.   Sing along, enjoy the lilt. Don’t cry o’er case law that’s spilt.   Come sit by my … Continue Reading

GC Robb’s Proposed Structural Changes to NLRB Draw Fire

NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb’s reported comments on a January 11, 2018, conference call about his proposed changes to how the NLRB operates has stoked resistance from NLRB career staff and others. Robb reportedly plans to centralize the decision-making process about which unfair labor practice cases his office will pursue and reduce the authority of … Continue Reading

Union Membership Rates Remain Low – And AFL-CIO Claims Victories

Despite the National Labor Relations Board’s “quickie election” rule, the percentage of unionized workers in the private sector remained essentially stable 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Only 6.5 percent of private-sector workers were in unions in 2017, an increase of 0.1 percent over the previous year. … Continue Reading

Kentucky’s Right-to-Work Law Survives Challenge

Kentucky’s right-to-work law has survived a challenge by the AFL-CIO and Teamsters union. The Kentucky legislation passed in the first week of the 2017 legislative session, making the Bluegrass State the 27th to adopt right-to-work legislation (Missouri was the 28th). A Kentucky state court dismissed the unions’ challenge to the law, which prohibits unions and … Continue Reading

Most NLRB Personnel on Furlough Until Appropriations Bill Signed into Law

Bloomberg BNA reports that 99.4 percent of the National Labor Relations Board’s employees (1,426 out of 1,435) are furloughed beginning January 22, 2018, according to the Board’s contingency plan. If your organization has a case before the Board, expect to receive a communication from the Board Agent assigned to the case noting the Regional Office … 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

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
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