Archives: Unions and Organizing

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NLRB GC: Employer Can Unilaterally Implement Decisions Made Before Union Election Victory

An employer lawfully unilaterally implemented a stricter tardiness and absentee policy even though a union had recently won an election to represent its workers, according to a memorandum released by the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s Division of Advice. Cott Beverages, Inc., No. 16-CA-206068 (Div. of Advice, Apr. 26, 2018, released May 15, 2018). … 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

NLRB Chair Responds to Senators, Confirms NLRB Will Engage in Rulemaking for Joint Employer Standard

New NLRB Chairman John Ring has stated that the Board intends to use rulemaking to create a new joint employer standard. The statement was in response to a May 29 letter from Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bernie Sanders that harshly questioned whether the agency planned to use rulemaking to create a new … Continue Reading

Labor Board Considers Joint Employer Standard Rulemaking

The National Labor Relations Board has begun the process to consider rulemaking to establish a standard for determining joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act, according to the Board’s filing in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The current standard is set forth in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 … Continue Reading

NLRB Failed to Support Conclusion that Employee’s Disparaging Comments Were Protected, Not Disloyal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has refused to enforce the NLRB’s order finding that an employee’s discharge violated the National Labor Relations Act because the Board did not satisfy the Supreme Court’s two-prong Jefferson Standard test for determining whether an employee’s disparaging statements to third parties about his employer … 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

Changes in Circumstances Counsel against NLRB Issuing Bargaining Order, Court Concludes

A bargaining order is an extreme form of relief and should not be issued without careful consideration of whether changed circumstances render such an order inappropriate, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, has explained, remanding an unfair labor practice case to the Board. Novelis Corp. v. NLRB, 2018 U.S. … 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

Employee’s Improper Access to Secured Area Outweighs Right to Engage in Concerted Activity, NLRB Finds

The National Labor Relations Board has held that an employee lost the protection of the National Labor Relations Act when he improperly accessed a secure area of the employer’s hotel, even though he did so in order to engage in otherwise protected concerted activity. KHRG Employer, LLC, 366 NLRB No. 22 (Feb. 28, 2018). The … Continue Reading

Browning-Ferris Back in the Spotlight … and at the Court of Appeals?

The drama involving the National Labor Relations Board’s precedent-busting 2015 joint employer decision continues. Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), dramatically changed the playing field for employers who rely on nontraditional workforces. The NLRB transformed its prior joint employment standard in Browning-Ferris into a two-part test that permits a finding of … 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

NLRB Vacates Hy-Brand Joint Employer Decision Following Inspector General Report

In a surprising reversal, the NLRB on February 26, 2018, vacated its decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd., 365 NLRB No. 156 (2017), and restored the Board’s union-friendly joint employer test set forth in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015) which Hy-Brand had overruled. The Board’s latest reversal came about as a result of … Continue Reading

NLRB Continues to Ask Whether Voters Were Potentially Disenfranchised When Polls Not Timely Opened

The National Labor Relations Board has reaffirmed it will apply a “potential-disenfranchisement” test, not an “actual-disenfranchisement” test, in determining whether employees were affected by a late opening of the polls at an NLRB-conducted election. Bronx Lobster Place LLC, Case 02-RC-191753 (Feb. 2, 2018) (unpublished). The employer had lost the election 14-12; there was one challenged … Continue Reading

NLRB Joint Employer Decision at Risk?

The Board overturned Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd., 365 NLRB No. 156 (Dec. 14, 2017), and returned to the more employer-friendly principles governing joint-employer status that existed prior to that decision. Now, however, the five individual Charging Parties in Hy-Brand have filed with the Board a Motion for … Continue Reading

NLRB Reverses Course, Permits Employer Unilateral Changes

The National Labor Relations Board has restored the right of unionized employers to implement changes that are consistent with past practice (as long as the change does not materially vary in kind or degree from past changes), even if that practice developed under a management rights clause in a collective bargaining agreement that has expired, … 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

NLRB Extends Time For Filing Responses To “Quickie Election” Request For Information

The National Labor Relations Board has extended the time for filing responses to its request for information regarding its 2014 election rule. The new date for submissions is Monday, March 19, 2018. In that request for information, the NLRB asked three questions: Should the 2014 Election Rule be retained without change? Should the 2014 Election … Continue Reading

Missouri to Vote on State’s Right-to-Work Law

When Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens signed “right-to-work” legislation into law on February 6, 2017, the Show-Me State was on the way to becoming the 28th state to prohibit unions and employers from requiring any employee to be a union member, or pay any dues or like amounts, as a condition of continued employment. Now, … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Signals Important Changes at NLRB

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb continues to outline his plans for change at the NLRB.  First came his sweeping five-page Memorandum directing NLRB Regional Offices to submit to his Division of Advice for review cases involving “significant legal issues.” See our article, “New Labor Board General Counsel Issues Plans For Reversing Course.”  That was … Continue Reading

Management-Side Attorney John Ring Selected for Seat on Labor Board

President Donald Trump has nominated John Ring, a Washington, D.C.-based management-side labor and employment lawyer, to fill the vacant seat on the five-member National Labor Relations Board. If confirmed, Ring would replace former-NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, a Republican, and restore a 3-2 Republican majority to the Board. Miscimarra’s term ended on December 16, 2017. Currently, … Continue Reading

New NLRB GC Opens Door to Possible Widespread Bargaining Unit Changes

The National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s Division of Operations Management has issued a sweeping Memorandum to Regional Offices setting forth a variety of circumstances under which those offices should process “currently active [representation] cases” applying the NLRB’s recent decision (PCC Structurals, Inc.) that overruled Specialty Healthcare. “Currently active cases” is defined very broadly – … Continue Reading
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