Archives: Unions and Organizing

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Congress One Step Closer to Restoring NLRB’s Joint Employer Standard

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the “Save Local Business Act” (H.R. 3441), which would add a new, narrow definition of “employer” to the National Labor Relations Act (and the Fair Labor Standards Act) and which clarifies the definition of joint employment under both federal statutes. H.R. 3441 provides that two or more employers … Continue Reading

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat: Illinois Home Health Aides Must Sue Individually To Recoup Fair Share Fees

Home health aides who successfully objected to the collection of “fair share” fees without their consent may not proceed as a class, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled, affirming a lower court’s determination. Riffey v. Rauner, No.16-3487 (7th Cir. Oct. 11, 2017). The home health aides had … Continue Reading

Senate Committee Approves Trump’s NLRB General Counsel Nominee

A critical National Labor Relations Board nomination was approved by the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on October 18, 2017, according to Bloomberg BNA. Management-side labor attorney Peter Robb’s nomination to be the Board’s next General Counsel has been long-anticipated by those interested in seeing changes in the agency’s doctrinal jurisprudence. The … Continue Reading

Employers Take Note: Public’s Approval of Unions Goes Up, Gallup Reports

Apparently, reports of the demise of organized labor are greatly exaggerated. According to a Gallup poll conducted from August 2 to 6, 2017, 61% of adults answered that they approve when asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of unions?” This is the highest percentage since 2003, when 65% said they approve. While only 22% of … Continue Reading

Seattle Ordinance Allowing Ride-Sharing Drivers to Unionize Temporarily Blocked by Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked enforcement of the City of Seattle’s Ordinance 124968, which grants certain collective bargaining rights to independent contractors who drive for ride-sharing companies like Uber.   The Ordinance, which was effective in January 2016, allows eligible drivers to collectively bargain with the companies that contract with them. Legal … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Sports Team’s Electronic-Content Workers Employees Eligible To Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has found the individuals who produce electronic content for viewing during professional basketball games are employees, rather than independent contractors. Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball, LP, 365 NLRB No. 124 (2017). The Board reversed the decision of an NLRB regional director and reinstated a representation petition filed by the International Alliance of … Continue Reading

Bills in Congress Would Short-Cut ‘Quickie Election Rule,’ ‘Micro-Unit’ Reversals

With the recent confirmation of Marvin Kaplan to the National Labor Relations Board, the Obama (pro-union) Board is officially transitioning into a Trump (pro-business) Board. With that, Republicans hope, will come a change in the Board’s jurisprudence with respect to labor-friendly rulings by the Obama Board. At the top of the “wish list for reversal” … Continue Reading

Labor Law Lessons from Our Favorite Films: Dirty Dancing (Weingarten Rights – Nobody Puts Weingarten In The Corner)

As noted in our previous post about Dirty Dancing, as part of its investigation into thefts of guests’ property, the resort owner interviewed staff dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Johnny denies involvement in the burglaries), to determine whether he had an alibi for the evening when Moe Pressman’s wallet was stolen. We now know that Castle responded … Continue Reading

Labor Law Lessons from Our Favorite Films: Dirty Dancing

There are films with clear labor law undertones, such as On The Waterfront and Norma Rae. The National Labor Relations Act and its teachings, however, lurk in other pop culture examples. Thirty years ago, the romantic drama, Dirty Dancing premiered. The plot centers around the relationship between Baby (Frances) Housman (coincidentally, named after the first … Continue Reading

Breaking News: NLRB Chairman Miscimarra Declines Second Term

Reportedly citing personal reasons, National Labor Relations Board Chairman Philip Miscimarra has declined consideration for a second term on the Board. Miscimarra’s term expires on December 16, 2017, and the Board is facing a slashed budget. Miscimarra, seen as pro-business, has become known for his numerous strong dissents in opposition to labor-friendly decisions by the … Continue Reading

Management Labor Attorney Being Considered for NLRB General Counsel Nomination

Peter B. Robb, a management-side labor law attorney, reportedly is being considered to be the National Labor Relations Board’s next General Counsel. The four-year term for the current NLRB General Counsel, Democrat Richard F. Griffin, Jr., expires this November. Robb previously worked as an NLRB field attorney and as chief counsel to Republican NLRB Member … Continue Reading

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

A Union Has Filed A Petition To Represent Your Employees: Make A List And Check It Twice!

Several deficiencies in a voter eligibility list justified rerunning an election that the employer had won, the NLRB has held, 2-1 (Chairman Philip Miscimarra dissenting in part). RHCG Safety Corp., 365 NLRB No. 88 (June 7, 2017). The Board found that more than 90% of the voters’ addresses on the list provided by the employer … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Budget Slashed: What Could It Mean To Your Business?

President Donald Trump has released a budget proposal reducing the National Labor Relations Board’s funding in fiscal year 2018 by nearly six percent. It also calls for significant staff reductions at a time when the agency’s caseload is projected to increase. Under the proposal, the Board’s funding would be reduced by $16 million, from $274 … Continue Reading

Labor Board Allows Evidence to Explain Employee Handbook Ban on Video Recording

The National Labor Relations Board has denied a motion for summary judgment by the NLRB’s General Counsel in a case involving Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc.’s maintenance of an employee handbook rule prohibiting the use of cameras and video recording devices without prior approval. The 2-1 decision allows MBUSI to attempt to prove that: (1) the … Continue Reading

In Fastest Elections, Union Victory Rate Soars

Unions fare better in the quickest elections under the National Labor Relations Board’s April 2015 “quickie” election rules, according to a Bloomberg BNA report. Unions have continued to win elections about 67 percent of the time overall since the implementation of the rules, according to the report. However, two years after the rules went into … Continue Reading

NLRB Denies Petitions to Revoke Subpoenas Based on Mere Allegation of Joint Employer Status

The National Labor Relations Board has denied petitions to revoke subpoenas that were issued by an NLRB Regional Director to two companies seeking information about a possible joint employer relationship between the two employers. The subpoenas arose out of the investigation of several unfair labor practice charges filed by a union against the companies, alleging … 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
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