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Category Archives: Unions

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NLRB Refuses to Count Timely-Mailed Ballots

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

In a perplexing – if not shocking – decision, the National Labor Relations Board determined that there is substantial difference between an employee having the opportunity to vote in a mail ballot election, and his or her vote in fact being counted. In Premier Utility Services, LLC, the employer, a utility company with 101 employees living… Continue Reading

NLRB’s Quickie Election Rule Turns One

Posted in Unions

“I’ve known Bob Rumson for years and I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it.  Well, I was wrong.  Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it.  Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it.” President Andrew… Continue Reading

DOL Issues Persuader Rule

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions

On March 23, 2016, the Department of Labor released the long-pending revisions to the “persuader rule,” drastically expanding employers’ disclosure requirements regarding their use of union avoidance consultants, including attorneys as well as HR consultants and media specialists. Our firm, on behalf of Worklaw, an international management-side network of labor and employment firms, will be… Continue Reading

Political Paraphernalia in the Workplace

Posted in HR Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions, Workplace Trends

As a follow up to my last post on political discussions in the workplace, I thought it might be helpful to employers to discuss other, material aspects of politics in the workplace – such as campaign posters, flyers, buttons, and clothing. Given that, as we now know, you can ban (most) political speech in the workplace,… Continue Reading

Return of the Beast: Religious Accommodation Redux

Posted in Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations, Litigation, Reasonable Accommodation, Unions

Back around Halloween, we offered you a seasonally appropriate and cautionary tale about accommodating an employee’s religious concerns. As we discussed in that blog about the case of EEOC v. Consol Energy, Inc., the employee refused to use a biometric hand scanner because he was afraid it would reveal or imprint the mark of the… Continue Reading

NLRB Says “No Recordings” Rule Is Illegal

Posted in HR Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions

In the latest round of extreme workplace rulings, the National Labor Relations Board has found yet another reasonable employer work rule to violate the National Labor Relations Act. In this case, Whole Foods Market, Inc., the employer had implemented two “no recording” policies: one that prohibited employees from making audio or video recordings of company meetings without prior… Continue Reading

Union Violates Employee’s Labor Rights

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

As a management-side labor firm, we are constantly in opposition to unions. So we particularly enjoy the irony when a union – as an employer – is found to have violated the National Labor Relations Act. (Yes, unions do violate the NLRA!) On December 1, 2015, in Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 689 and Tamar C…. Continue Reading

NLRB Imposes Expansive (and Onerous) Requirements For Preparation of Voter List

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions

As you may know, the National Labor Relations Board substantially revised the rules governing the union elections process, by which employees choose whether or not they wish to be represented by a union. The controversial revisions greatly sped up the process, with the effect that employer had less time to educate their employees about the… Continue Reading

NLRB Rejects Union for College Football Players

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

The National Labor Relations Board on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Northwestern football players who were seeking to unionize. In what is widely viewed as a surprising decision by the union-friendly Obama Board, in Northwestern University, the three Democrats and two Republicans on the Board unanimously declined to assert jurisdiction over Northwestern scholarship football… Continue Reading

Court Finally Brings Sanity to NLRB Prison Garb Decision

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation, Unions

AT&T Connecticut and the Communications Workers of America were embroiled in bitter contract negotiations in 2009. Among other efforts to let the public know about the dispute, employees, many of whom had to go into customers’ homes, began wearing shirts that said “Inmate” on the front with a black box underneath the lettering. The back… Continue Reading

Labor Organizing: There’s About To Be An App For That

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Social Media, Unions, Workplace Trends

Recently, The Century Foundation, a group that pursues “non-partisan research and policy analysis” released a report on virtual labor organizing. The report assesses how a mobile application (“app”) or website could provide a platform that would help workers organize for labor campaigns. According to the report, approximately 96 percent of workers use Internet, e-mail, or… Continue Reading

Employees Reject Union in One of the First “Quickie Elections”

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions

In 1947, Shawe Rosenthal’s founder, Earle K. Shawe, filed the first unfair labor practice charge against a union under the Taft-Hartley Act. Now, in another major labor law first, S&R represented a Baltimore-based distribution company in the first NLRB election conducted by the Board in its Region 5 (generally covering the mid-Atlantic area) under its new “quickie… Continue Reading

NLRB Final Rule Expediting Union Elections Takes Effect Next Week

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

Absent an injunction issuing in one of the pending cases challenging the National Labor Relations Board’s Final Rule substantially revising its representation case procedures, the rules become effective April 14, 2015. The practical effect is that representation elections will be held in a shorter period of time, which reduces the ability of employers to educate… Continue Reading

Say What? NLRB ALJ Finds Hospital’s English-Only Rule Unlawful

Posted in HR Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions, Workplace Trends

The latest office fodder for me and my colleague, Jason Usher (who formerly worked at the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”)), involves an Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision, Valley Health System LLC, that found that a healthcare employer’s English-only rule violated the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). Many employers, especially those in the healthcare industry, institute… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Unionizing College Athletes

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

Even with the hoopla surrounding March Madness there has been equally compelling news regarding college football despite the fact that that sport is not even in season.  The National Labor Relations Board’s Chicago office just handed down a decision that Northwestern football players are employees and have the right to organize.  Nothing will happen immediately… Continue Reading

When Must Employers Permit Union Activities On Company Property?

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

Management-side labor attorneys often are spoilsports when it comes to outside groups entering company property to peddle their wares.   Many employers think they are being the benevolent boss by inviting cable companies, cell phone providers, charities, etc. onto the company premises and allowing these groups access to their employees.   But if you allow all of… Continue Reading

Will the Supreme Court Neuter Neutrality Agreements?

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions, Workplace Trends

For a labor law attorney like myself, today is Christmas morning at the Supreme Court.   In contrast to most labor law cases which reach the High Court and usually involve procedural and/or constitutional issues and labor law itself is only a side show (like Noel Canning later this term), the case at 1 First Street… Continue Reading

Labor Thoughts – Labor Peace Agreements, Split in Organized Labor, $400,000 Strikers?

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Legislative Developments, Unions

Labor Peace Agreements Leading to Successful Organizing: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workplace Freedom Initiative has released a new report, “Labor Peace Agreements: Local Government as a Union Advocate.”   The report is a comprehensive overview of local “labor peace” legislation that is becoming more commonplace nationwide.   The trend noted by the Chamber usually involves states… Continue Reading

Labor Union Membership Declines Sharply for Younger Workers

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions, Workplace Trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual report on union membership last week.   Like most of these reports in recent years, it was bleak and gloomy news for organized labor.   Private sector union membership continued its downward plummet and now stands at a paltry 6.6%.   This is down from 6.9% last year.   Perhaps, even… Continue Reading

NLRB Releases Second Facebook Case

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Social Media, Unions, Workplace Trends

The Labor Board has released its long-awaited second “Facebook case.”  To nobody’s surprise, the NLRB has largely adopted the ALJ decision that the Facebook postings in question constitute protected concerted activity under Section 7. In Hispanics United of Buffalo, an employee threatened to report several of her co-workers to management who she felt did not provide… Continue Reading