Tag Archives: Labor Relations

National Labor Relations Board proposes regulation to establish new joint employer rule

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) announced a much-anticipated proposed regulation to establish a rule-driven standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Board’s proposed rule represents a return to a more common-law-centered understanding of joint-employer relationships, establishing joint employer status based on the exercise of substantial … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Public Unions May Not Charge Non-Members Fees.

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) makes clear that agency fee agreements in the public sector are unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Although Janus dealt with government employees, the potential impact on private sector employers also demands careful consideration. The Decision In Janus, … Continue Reading

NLRB Regional Director Says College Athletes Can Unionize

Joel Barras wrote a new article on Forbes.com discussing the NLRB Regional Director for the Chicago Region’s recent ruling that Northwestern University football players are “employees” of the University and therefore have the right to organize and be represented by a union.  If upheld, expect Division I football and basketball players from across the country … Continue Reading

NLRB Case May Give Unions Two Bites at the Apple

The National Labor Relations Board has just agreed to consider forcing employers to defend unfair practice claims twice—once before an arbitrator, and then again before the Board.  The case is Babcock v. Wilcox Constr., No. 28-CA-022625 ("Babcock"). Interested parties are invited to submit briefs to the Board on whether it should maintain, modify, or abandon … Continue Reading

NLRB Judge Invalidates Company Dress Code

A National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) partially invalidated a Honda dealer’s dress code that prohibited employees who have contact with the public from wearing pins, insignia or other message clothing. A copy of the decision is attached here. Even though the work rule applied to all messaging regardless of the topic, … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: 2014 NLRB is Unrestrained and Ready for Activism

For the first time in over a decade, the National Labor Relations Board enters the New Year with a fully constituted (properly nominated and confirmed) complement of Board Members and General Counsel. Having removed the “acting” or “recess appointee” caveat from their titles, the NLRB and its independent prosecutor are now free of many of the … Continue Reading

Federal Employment Agencies Grind to a Halt During Government Shutdown

The lights are still on but the overwhelming majority of desks are empty at the national and regional offices of the Department of Labor (DOL) and its subagencies, as well as the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These offices will continue to receive and docket filings to preserve statutory deadlines but otherwise will … Continue Reading

The Times They Are A-Changin’ For Labor Union Organizing

Labor unions seeking to stem steady losses within their ranks are getting creative. The AFL-CIO recently passed a resolution permitting anyone in the country to join its organization, regardless of union affiliation. Pushing for passage of this resolution, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka proclaimed that “[T]he success of our movement…is measured by the progress of working people – … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Keeps Unfriending Employer Social Media Policies

In a just-released Advice Memorandum found here, the NLRB General Counsel’s office (“GC”) publicized its position that employers must bargain with their unions before implementing new social media policies. The Memo “casually” notes that work rules, such as social media guidelines, provide an independent basis for discipline and are mandatory subjects of bargaining.  According to the … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Joins D.C. Circuit in Ripping Up NLRB Poster Rule

Alexandria E. Cuff contributed to the content of this post. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit joined the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in striking down a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) rule requiring employers to post a notice telling employees about their National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) rights, … Continue Reading

NLRB Recess Appointments Ruled Unconstitutional: Hundreds of Decisions Affected and Board Unable to Act

In a decision handed down today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that President Obama lacked the authority to install three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board early last year. In its opinion for Noel Canning vs. NLRB, attached here, the Court concluded that the President ignored the Senate’s “advise … Continue Reading

Non-Disclosure and Non-Disparagement Provisions in Employment Agreements Not Off-Limits Under the NLRA

In a recent case involving Quicken Loans, Inc., Case No. 28-CA-75857, JD(NY)-03-13 (January 8, 2013), an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that employers’ commonly adopted practice of including non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions in employment agreements violated the NLRA. The ALJ concluded that these contract provisions created a chilling effect on the employees’ right to discuss … Continue Reading

NLRB Overturns 36-Year-Old Precedent Protecting Confidential Witness Statements From Disclosure to Union

On the heels of its December 12 decision overturning 50-year-old Board precedent in WKYC-TV, the NLRB reversed a 36-year-old Board ruling which protected confidential witness statements during workplace investigations from disclosure to the labor organization representing the employee or employees involved in the investigation. Prior to the Board’s December 14 decision in Am. Baptist Homes of … Continue Reading

NLRB Overturns 50 Year Old Case to Require Employers to Continue Union Dues “Check-off” Payments Despite Expiration of Underlying Labor Agreement

The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling to preserve the flow of union dues income to unions during protracted labor negotiations. The ruling is that an employer must continue to deduct union dues from employee paychecks despite the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement that required the payments. … Continue Reading

NLRB Requires Employers to Respond to Irrelevant Information Requests from Unions

The NLRB added to its step-by-step expansion of union rights at the expense of employers, this time by requiring employers to “promptly respond” to even irrelevant information requests from unions. This “irrelevant” ruling is an extension of well-established NLRB case law that an employer’s duty to bargain in good faith includes the obligation to provide requested … Continue Reading

Watch for Unions At Your Doorstep!

Employers must remain watchful for increased union organizing at their workplaces. Those that dismiss the possibility that their employees would consider unionizing are often left disappointed and unionized when last minute anti-union campaigns in response to “surprise” representation petitions are “too little, too late.” Recent actions by the National Labor Relations Board—examples are below– highlight the need … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Backs Off Prohibiting All Employment-At-Will Disclaimers

In an apparent victory for employers, the NLRB’s General Counsel (“GC”) issued a pair of Advice Memoranda upholding handbook employment-at-will disclaimers comparable to provisions found unlawful several months ago by the same GC. In the Memos, found here and here, the GC concludes that the following disclaimers did not explicitly restrict employees’ protected activities and were not … Continue Reading

H-2B Visas May Be a Heavy Burden for Employer’s Wallets

On Monday, August 20, a federal judge in Philadelphia upheld the Department of Labor ("DOL") rule setting minimum wage requirements for foreign workers holding H-2B visas. The proposed rule has drawn much attention, and criticism, because it potentially will cost $874,000,000 or more per year in increased labor costs for employers with H-2B visa holders. … Continue Reading

Employer’s E-Mail System May Become Tool for Union Organizing

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is expected to issue a ruling shortly on whether employers can lawfully prohibit their employees and unions from using employer-owned e-mail and intranet systems to distribute union campaign materials. An NLRB decision favoring employee and union use of these internal communication avenues for union organizing and other NLRA-protected activities would … Continue Reading

NLRB Forbids “Do Not Discuss” Warnings to Employees During Confidential Investigations

  NLRB holds that employer’s practice of requesting employees to keep internal investigations confidential violates the NLRA.   The National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or "Board") is at it again, this time finding that an employer’s policy prohibiting employees from discussing ongoing investigations of employee misconduct infringes upon employees’ Section 7 rights in violation of … Continue Reading

Alaska First State to Recognize Union-Employee Privilege in Communications

In a decision that may extend to other state and federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, and to labor arbitrations, Alaska’s Supreme Court became the first state or federal court to recognize an implied statutory privilege for union-employee communications during a disciplinary or grievance proceeding to block questioning about them. Comparable to confidential attorney-client communications, … Continue Reading
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