On November 2, 2023, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo provided guidance to inquiries received by the NLRB in the wake of the Board’s decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC (which we wrote about here). In summary, the Board’s decision in Cemex established a new standard for the steps to be taken by an employer that receives a union’s demand for recognition, and the consequences facing an employer that violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) after receiving a demand for recognition – specifically, the likelihood that the Board will order the employer to bargain with the union, even if the employer did not extend voluntary recognition to the union and the union did not prevail in a NLRB-administered election.Continue Reading NLRB GC Issues Guidance Regarding Board Decision Impacting Employer Responses to Demands for Voluntary Recognition
Today, October 26, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule that rescinds and replaces the Trump Administration’s 2020 rule establishing the current test for determining whether two entities are joint employers. This new rule 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 Returns to a More Expansive Joint Employer Standard
The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board” or “NLRB”) issued a final rule on August 24, 2023 that will drastically reduce the time between when a petition is filed – typically, by a union – and an election. This final rule is yet another instance of the Biden Board furthering union activities by changing existing case law or procedures to make it easier for unions to organize employees. The final rule goes into effect on December 26, 2023.Continue Reading NLRB Resuscitates “Quickie Election” Rules
The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board” or “NLRB”) issued a decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific on August 25, 2023 that will allow it to order collective bargaining without a secret-ballot election or voluntary recognition.Continue Reading NLRB Decision Paves Path to Imposing Unions on Employers and Their Employees
In an unsurprising decision applicable to both unionized and non-union employers, the National Labor Relations Board changed its standard for assessing whether seemingly neutral work rules violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Board’s decision in Stericycle, Inc. applies to challenges to an employer’s maintenance of work rules that do not expressly apply to employees’ protected activity. (Note: This decision does not alter Board law concerning the analysis of rules that explicitly restrict activities protected by Section 7 of the NLRA, or rules enacted in response to activities protected by the NLRA, such as union organizing.)Continue Reading Employers – The NLRB Has Just Made Many Common Work Rules Unlawful
Following the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed near-total ban on non-compete agreements, which we wrote about here, and an increasing number of state laws limiting or banning such agreements, another federal agency official is piling on. On May 30, 2023, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memo expressing her position that noncompete agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, GC Abruzzo asserts that noncompete agreements chill employees’ exercise of rights guaranteed by Section 7 of the NLRA unless the noncompete agreement is “narrowly tailored to address special circumstances” that justify the interference with employees’ Section 7 rights. Absent narrow tailoring to address special circumstances, GC Abruzzo contends that proffering, maintaining, or enforcing noncompete agreements violates the NLRA.Continue Reading The NLRB General Counsel Joins the War on Noncompete Agreements
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”) announced a return to the pre-2020 “setting-specific” standard in cases where employees are disciplined for misconduct occurring during the course of activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The case, Lion Elastomers, LLC II, overrules the Trump-era Board decision in General Motors, which assessed the employer’s motive in taking adverse action against an employee who may have engaged in misconduct during the course of protected activity. Consequently, the Board is likely to permit employees greater latitude to make abusive, offensive, or profane comments in the workplace if such comments have even an attenuated link to activity that may be protected by the NLRA.Continue Reading NLRB Returns to More Lenient Standard for Employees’ Abusive and Profane Misconduct
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