A Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board found merit to an unfair labor practice charge alleging that the University of Southern California (USC) misclassified football and basketball players as student-athletes rather than employees and maintained unlawful work rules. In addition, the Complaint will allege the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA are joint employers of the USC athletes. The charge was filed on behalf of the athletes by the National College Players Association, a college athlete advocacy group.
Continue Reading Are College Athletes “Employees” Under Federal Labor Law? We Are About to Find Out…

On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) reaffirmed its Johnnie’s Poultry standard for analyzing an employer’s questioning of employees in preparation for NLRB proceedings. Employers must provide a list of assurances to employees and the failure to recite even one of the assurances shall render such questioning per se (or automatically) unlawful.
Continue Reading NLRB Reaffirms Safeguards for Questioning Employees in Preparation for NLRB Proceedings

In an expected move, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would rescind a final rule issued in April 2020 (the 2020 Rule), which we discussed here. The proposed rule, titled the “Fair Choice and Employee Voice” rule, would enact policies that would insulate a union’s status as employees’ bargaining representative by (1) reviving “blocking charge” procedures, (2) reinstating an immediate “recognition bar,” and (3) allowing unions in the construction industry to obtain an enhanced representational status through contract language alone and without ever having to demonstrate support by a majority of the employees it represents.

Continue Reading NLRB Issues Proposed Rule Nixing Trump-Era Rule, Reinstating Protections for Union’s Representation Status

Take note, unionized employers: the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) held on Monday that employers violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when, following expiration of the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement (“CBA”), they unilaterally cease deducting and remitting employee union dues to the union pursuant to contractual dues checkoff provisions. The 3-2 decision in Valley Hospital Medical Center (”Valley Hospital II”), split along partisan lines, is the next in what should be a steady stream of union-friendly decisions likely to be issued by the Biden Board in the coming months.

Continue Reading In Precedent-Shifting Decision, NLRB Says Dues Checkoff Survives CBA Expiration

One day after Labor Day, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) issued a proposed rule that would rescind and replace the Trump Administration’s 2020 rule that established the current test for determining whether two entities are joint employers. Predictably, the proposed rule, if adopted by the Board, will result in more findings that two entities are joint employers. Under federal labor law, a joint employer is required to bargain with a union selected by its jointly-employed workers and may be held liable for the unfair labor practices committed by the other employer.

Continue Reading NLRB Proposes Return to a More Expansive Joint Employer Standard

In today’s episode of “They Really Made a Federal Case Out of That?” the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) rejected a union’s claim that a hotel employer was obligated to bargain its decision, or the effects of its decision, to purchase and use fluffier king size pillows in its hotel rooms. (Your tax dollars at work, my friends!)
Continue Reading Hotel Did Not Need to Bargain Over Puffier Pillows, says NLRB…

Following one federal court’s stay limited only to certain states (as discussed in our November 2021 E-Update), another federal court in Louisiana has now granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Interim Final Rule containing a vaccine mandate issued on November 5, 2021 (as discussed in our November 8, 2021 E-lert). This mandate requires workers of most federally-funded healthcare entities to receive their first shot by December 6, 2021 and their second by January 4, 2022. The injunction states explicitly that it “immediately enjoins and restrains the Government…from implementing the mandate.”

Continue Reading Court Enjoins CMS’s Vaccine Mandate for Medicare and Medicaid-Certified Providers

A National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board’) decision that was once thought to be a significant win for employer property rights may ultimately result in increased property access for off-duty contractor employees, following a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Opens Door to Biden Board to Expand Property Access for Off-Duty Contractor Employees

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing officer recently recommended that the union election at an Alabama Amazon warehouse be run a second time. The hearing officer, an employee of a NLRB Regional Office, sided with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) that Amazon’s actions interfered with a fair election. Specifically, the hearing officer found that Amazon’s installation of an unmarked mailbox as a ballot drop-site that was within the view of company surveillance cameras, hiring of private police, threatening of employees, and changing county traffic lights (come on, how many companies have the pull to get county traffic lights changed?) to impede RWDSU access to voters amounted to objectionable conduct.

Continue Reading NLRB Hearing Officer Recommends Second Union Election at Amazon – But Will It Happen?

On August 12, 2021, the recently confirmed General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board, Jennifer Abruzzo, issued her first official memo. Per an NLRB press release, GC Memo 21-04 “lays out a clear agenda…on some priorities of the Office of the General Counsel.” The memo directs NLRB field offices to submit cases addressing issues identified in the memo to the Regional Advice Branch of the Office of the General Counsel. Typically, such submissions are the first step on the path to overturning existing case law that a sitting GC seeks to change.
Continue Reading New NLRB General Counsel Signals Major Changes Ahead