Tag Archives: Labor Relations

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

Legality of “At Will” Language in Employee Handbooks Left Unresolved

Inserting itself once again in the relationship between employers and their non-union employees, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") recently settled a case in which the General Counsel alleged that certain common "at-will" disclaimers in employee handbooks and manuals violated the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). Raised but unresolved is the impact of this settlement … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Issues Third Report on Social Media Cases

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued his third report on social media cases handled by the NLRB. Copies of all three memos are available here, here and here, in the order issued. Our previous blog post discussing the second memo can be found here. The most recent, third report reviews … Continue Reading

NLRB’S “Quickie Election” Rules Invalidated

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia voided the NLRB’s so-called “quickie election” rules because the NLRB lacked the quorum necessary when it adopted its Amended Election Rules to expedite the current union election process. See Chamber of Commerce, et al v. NLRB. Our more in-depth analysis of those amended rules is in our … Continue Reading

NLRB Continues To Oppose Arbitration Policies That “Chill” Employee Class Actions

The General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board ("Board") issued a complaint yesterday alleging that 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., violated the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") by insisting that all employment-related disputes be resolved through individual arbitration. The employer, which operates fitness centers nationwide, requires its non-union workforce, as a precondition of hire, … Continue Reading

UPDATE to D.C. Circuit Litigation Over NLRB Posting Rule: D.C. Circuit Halts Implementation Pending Appeal

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion for an injunction pending appeal filed by national trade associations challenging the NLRB Posting Rule that requires all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the Act.  In granting the motion to enjoin the implementation of the … Continue Reading

NLRB Posting Requirement Upheld, But Enforcement Limited

As we have discussed in earlier posts found here and here, several national trade associations challenged the NLRB’s Rule that requires all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice notifying employees of their rights under the Act. In response to those filings, a federal district court upheld the posting requirement, but struck … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Issues Second Report on Social Media Cases

This post was also written by Samantha M. Clancy. The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon recently issued a report on social media cases handled by the NLRB. This second report—he issued his first in August 2011— provides guidance to employers in developing and enforcing social media policies to comply with the National … Continue Reading

White House Announces Recess Appointments to NLRB

This afternoon, the White House announced President Obama’s intention to recess appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board, including Sharon Block, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor, Terence F. Flynn, Chief Counsel to Member Brian Hayes, and Richard Griffin, General Counsel for International Union of Operating Engineers. … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Passes Rules to Assist Union Organizing Campaigns

On November 30, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) voted 2-1 to advance certain proposed rules to expedite the current union election process and significantly limit employer participation in that process. The proposed rules will be drafted in final form for eventual publication in the Federal Register and re-voted by the Board. Uncertainty lingers, … Continue Reading

U.S.: California’s “Wage Theft Prevention Act” Imposes New Requirements and Potential Penalties On Private Employers Starting January 1, 2012

Effective January 1, 2012, private California employers of non-exempt employees not subject to certain collective bargaining agreements will face new reporting and recordkeeping requirements and penalties for violations of California’s aggressively-titled “Wage Theft Prevention Act” signed into law in October 2011. Similar to New York’s law of the same name enacted last year, the Act … Continue Reading

U.S.: NLRB Rules & Decisions Challenged in Congress & in Court

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce has approved the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (“Bill”), which is part of the House Republican jobs agenda aimed at removing regulatory hurdles to creation of jobs. The Bill is a legislative challenge to a recent NLRB Rule. That Rule provides for conducting union representation elections … Continue Reading

Deadline to Comply with NLRB Required Notice Posting Extended

As we noted in our August 26 posting, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) has adopted a Rule that requires all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act (“Act” or “NLRA”) to post a notice notifying employees of their rights under the Act. This requirement will apply to some 6 million private-sector employers, but not … Continue Reading

NLRB Limits Employees’ Rights To Challenge the Majority Status of Unions

Recently and just prior to the expiration of National Labor Relations Board Chairman Wilma Liebman’s term, the Board issued two decisions that reverse the rights of employees to challenge the majority status of their unions following a voluntary recognition of the union by the employer or a sale or merger involving their employer. These decisions represent … Continue Reading

NLRB Requires Notice Posting by NLRA-Covered Employers

The National Labor Relations Board has adopted a Rule that, effective November 14, 2011, requires all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) to post a notice notifying employees of their rights under the Act. This requirement will apply to some six million private-sector employers, but not agricultural, railroad, airline and very small employers. The … Continue Reading

NLRB Charges New York Nonprofit With Labor Law Violations for Discharging Employees Based on Working-Condition Discussions on Facebook

In yet another instance illustrating the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB’s”) intent to prosecute violations of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) related to employee activity on social media sites, the NLRB’s Buffalo, NY regional office has issued a complaint against Hispanics United of Buffalo Inc. (HUB), a New York nonprofit agency. The complaint alleges that … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit: Federal Arbitration Act Preempts California Law To Uphold Waiver of Class Action Option in Mandatory Arbitration

In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, U.S., No. 09-893, 4/27/11, an ideologically divided U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) trumped California law to uphold class action waivers in arbitration.  According to the majority opinion authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, a blanket prohibition on arbitration provisions requiring individual arbitration in favor of class-wide … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Voids Almost 600 Decisions Issued By Two-Member NLRB

This post was also written by Daniel J. Moore. On June 17, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) lacked the authority to issue any decisions during a 27-month period when it had only two members. New Process Steel, L.P. v. NLRB, No. 08-1457. The Court’s ruling … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s U.S. Employment and Labor Practice Highly Ranked by Legal 500 and Chambers USA

Reed Smith is proud to have been named one of the top employment and labor firms in the United States by Legal 500, a leading legal industry publication. The firm was highly ranked for both Labor and Employment Litigation and Labor Management Relations. Legal 500 cited in particular Reed Smith’s national reputation for experience in … Continue Reading

Federal Contractors and Subcontractors Must Notify Employees of Right to Unionize

This post was also written by Daniel J. Moore. Just 10 days after taking office, President Obama signed Executive Order 13496, requiring all federal contractors and subcontractors to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including their right to join and support unions, and to include in every contract, subcontract, … Continue Reading

President Announces Weekend Recess Appointments to NLRB and EEOC

This past weekend, with the Easter Congressional recess just under way, President Barack Obama wasted no time in announcing the recess appointments of his two proposed Democratic nominees to serve as members on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). One appointment was Buffalo union-side attorney Mark Pearce; the other was the highly controversial Craig Becker … Continue Reading

Labor Department Will Seek to Expand Employers’ Obligation To Report ‘Persuader Activity’

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently released its 2010 regulatory plan, which envisions a major change in how DOL interprets the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (“LMRDA”) as to when an employer must disclose its use of attorneys or consultants to help persuade employees not to unionize. In particular, DOL will be seeking … Continue Reading

“EFCA Lite”: Revised Version of Employee Free Choice Act Moves Forward

As we predicted in our September 14 piece on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), organized labor’s increased pressure on Congress to pass such legislation is starting to bear fruit.  At this week’s AFL-CIO convention, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), a leader in the Democrats’ effort to forge a bill that can withstand a Republican filibuster, … Continue Reading

The Employee Free Choice Act: An Update

While many suspected that the Employee Free Choice Act (“EFCA”) might become law within the first 100 days of the new Administration, that has not come to pass. Indeed, with the focus in Congress on the recession and the Administration’s push for healthcare reform, EFCA seems to have been all but forgotten. Like the disappearing canine in … Continue Reading
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