Tag Archives: Unions and Organizing

Employers Take Note: Americans’ Approval of Unions Continues to Grow

According to a recent Gallup poll, almost two-thirds of Americans approve of labor unions. After reaching an all-time low of 48% in 2009, approval of labor unions has increased steadily to 64%. This increase crosses political party lines. According to the Gallup poll, 82% of Democrats approve of unions. Although only 45% of Republicans approve … Continue Reading

NLRB Members Lean Toward Possible Easing of Restrictions on Off-Duty Employee Access Rules

Two of the four members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have indicated they are willing to rethink a key element of the Board’s more-than-40-year-old precedent regarding employers’ off-duty employee access rules under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Southern Bakeries, 368 NLRB No. 59 (Aug. 28, 2019). Members William Emanuel and Marvin Kaplan, … Continue Reading

Union’s Goal: 100,000 New Members by 2024

UNITE HERE hopes to increase its membership by one-third, to 400,000 members, by 2024, according to Bloomberg Law. UNITE HERE represents employees in the hotel, gaming, food service, airport, textile, manufacturing, distribution, laundry, transport, and other industries. With approximately 300,000 members and a well-publicized history of strikes and demonstrations, it is widely recognized as one … Continue Reading

Report: Union Representation Numbers Remain Low

Once again, the percentage of private sector union-represented workers fell – to 6.4% in 2018, from 6.5% in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Highlights from the “Union Members – 2018” report include: Men had a higher union representation rate than women (11.1% to 9.9%). Black employees … Continue Reading

Bargaining Unit Can Still Be ‘Micro’ under ‘Community of Interest’ Standard

After the NLRB adopted a new standard for determining bargaining-unit composition, many expected fewer micro-units would result. PCC Structurals, 365 NLRB No. 160 (2017) (PCC I). However, when the employer filed a request for review (appeal) of the Regional Director’s decision allowing, on remand, a “micro-unit” of its employees to vote on union representation under … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Urges Reversal of Purple Communications Email Rule

The National Labor Relations Board’s office of the General Counsel is urging the Board to overrule its decision in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 1050 (2014), which allowed employees to use employer email systems for NLRA Section 7 purposes (e.g., union organizing and protected concerted activity) during nonworking time. On August 1, 2018, the Board invited … Continue Reading

NLRB GC Institutes Changes to Certain Decision-Making Processes

The National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel’s office has issued an internal Memorandum (“Changes to Case Processing Part 1”) to all regional directors, officers-in-charge, and resident officers announcing immediate enactment of case processing changes. The six-page memorandum, obtained by Bloomberg BNA, addresses four policies. Memorandum ICG 18-06 (July 30, 2018). According to the Memorandum, the … 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 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

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

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

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

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

Trump Board Overrules Workplace Rules Analysis

In a stunning development, the National Labor Relations Board has decided that when determining the legality of a facially neutral rule under the National Labor Relations Act, it will consider (i) the nature and extent of the potential impact on rights protected by the Act, and (ii) legitimate justifications associated with the rule. By a … Continue Reading

Labor Board Asks: Retain, Modify, or Rescind ‘Quickie Election’ Rules?

A Request for Information regarding the “Quickie Election” representation regulations (at 29 CFR parts 101 and 102) will be published on December 13, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board has announced. The RFI will seek input on the 2014 amendments to representation case procedures that reduced the opportunities for employers to communicate with their employees … Continue Reading

Misclassification of Independent Contractor is Violation of NLRA, ALJ Rules

The misclassification of an independent contractor is an unfair labor practice under the NLRA, according to Administrative Law Judge Dickie Montemayor. Intermodal Bridge Transp., No. 21-CA-157647 (Nov. 28, 2017). ALJ Montemayor said that, because such misclassification chills future concerted activity and necessarily “deprives and conceals available protections” afforded to employees under the NLRA, misclassification in … Continue Reading
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