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Category Archives: Unions

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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

Latest NLRB Decision on Employer Overbroad Confidentiality Policies

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

Do you think it could possibly violate any law to require at-will non-union employees to sign a confidentiality agreement prohibiting disclosure outside the company of information relating to customers, marketing procedures, costs, prices, business plans, computer and software systems, and “personnel information and documents?” If you answered “of course not!” you would be WRONG under… Continue Reading

NLRB Protected Concerted Activity Web Page

Posted in Unions

The NLRB continues to take action designed to help unions organize employees.  The latest step is the Board’s recently established web page designed to inform employees of their right to engage in protected concerted activity.  The web page, located at www.nlrb.gov/concerted-activity, begins with the statement: “The law we enforce gives employees the right to act… Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel New Social Media Report

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

The NLRB General Counsel’s office has released its third report on recent social media cases. The GC reviewed social media and confidentiality policies from several companies and found most policies unlawful.  In particular, the GC found the following portions of various social media and confidentiality policies unlawful: “Don’t release confidential guest, team member or company… Continue Reading

NLRB Board Member Flynn Resigns

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

While the rest of America was busy celebrating the long Memorial Day weekend, internal turmoil at the NLRB finally resulted in action when, on May 26, NLRB Board Member Terrence Flynn submitted his resignation.   The resignation is effective July 24, but Flynn stopped conducting all agency business immediately. As we discussed on this blog in… Continue Reading

NLRB Employee Handbook Case Part Two

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

In Part One of my analysis of the recent case brought by the NLRB challenging various aspects of the Rio Hotel & Casino’s employee handbook, I reviewed two parts of the handbook that the Board found objectionable: a prohibition on off-duty clothing and an off-duty access rule.   The ALJ ruled in favor of the Company… Continue Reading

NLRB Employee Handbook Case

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

A little-noticed ALJ case recently coming out of Las Vegas gives employers excellent insight into how the NLRB General Counsel views certain employee handbook provisions.   The case involved the famous Rio Hotel and Casino – a venue which boasts a couple thousand hotel rooms and, in my opinion, the best buffet in Vegas.  Last July,… Continue Reading

New NLRB Election Rules Take Effect Today

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

Today marks a new day for the National Labor Relations Board, as significant changes to its election procedures officially take effect.   All NLRB election petitions filed starting today will be subject to these new rules. The most significant changes concern the role of a pre-election hearing.   Up until now, a pre-election hearing was an opportunity… Continue Reading