For those of us labor attorneys who represent management in labor relations, there was a bit of schadenfreude (i.e. pleasure in another’s misfortune) with the news that employees engaged in a strike due to unfair labor practices allegedly committed by their employer – who happens to be both a union and unionized!  Oh, the irony….Continue Reading So, A Union’s Own Unionized Workers Go On Strike…

In Starbucks Corp. v. McKinney, the Supreme Court held that a more stringent test applied to lawsuits filed by the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) that seek injunctions to halt serious labor violations.  While the decision directs district courts to adopt the tightened standard, several circuits, including the Fourth Circuit, have already been consistently applying the higher standard.   Continue Reading NLRB Injunctions Are Now More Difficult to Obtain, At Least in Some Jurisdictions

On April 8, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued GC Memo 24-04, providing yet another memorandum broadening remedies for employees that have been wrongfully discharged for engaging in union or other protected concerted activity.  In this memo, GC Abruzzo encouraged Regions to pursue make-whole remedies for all employees, including those not identified in an unfair labor practice investigation, allegedly harmed by the unlawful rules or contract terms. Continue Reading General Counsel Abruzzo’s Latest Memorandum Encourages a Further Expansion of Remedies for Employees

As our associate Evan Conder reported in a blog post last month, a Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board issued a game-changing decision that players on Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team are “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The players then voted (13-2) to unionize. But now, Dartmouth is refusing to negotiate with the players’ chosen representative, the Service Employees International Union, Local 560. Continue Reading So, Dartmouth Won’t Play Ball with the Union…

This is true in the context of existing race discrimination concerns and complaints in this particular (non-union) workplace, according to the National Labor Relations Board in a case involving Home Depot. Notably, the Board asserted that, “Insofar as BLM has become a well-known abbreviation, and the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter,’ when displayed in the workplace, could reasonably be understood as referring to issues of racial equity and equality at work, it is arguable that displaying the phrase in the workplace, standing alone, would support a mutual aid or protection finding.” However, the Board stated that it was not deciding that issue here (and we add, “yet.”).Continue Reading Display of BLM Insignia = Protected Concerted Activity

The National Labor Relations Board’s (the Board) General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo ,has sought stronger remedies for violations of the National Labor Relations Act. Her newest proposed remedy would, in some cases, allow a union to decide who must be hired by the employer.Continue Reading Is the NLRB Overstepping? Proposed Remedy Would Give Unions Hiring Control

On February 5, 2024, Laura Sacks, Regional Director for Region 1 of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), ruled that players on Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team are “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  While this decision may not come as a surprise in light of NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s GC Memo 21-08 titled “Statutory Rights of Players at Academic Institutions (Student Athletes) Under the National Labor Relations Act”, this decision is likely to accelerate the transformation of college athletics that has already began with the NCAA’s suspension of name, image and likeness rules.Continue Reading March Madness in February? Unionization Heats Up College Sports Landscape

A recent New York Times article highlighted the use and, frankly, abuse of Training Repayment Agreement Provisions (TRAP – oooooh, good acronym!), also known as stay-or-pay provisions. Under a TRAP, if an employee leaves their job before a certain specific amount of time has passed, they are required to pay back monies ostensibly tied to the costs of training, or finding a replacement, or even lost profits. The use of TRAPs appears to have significantly increased in recent years, and the Biden Administration is paying attention – and it is not happy.Continue Reading “Stay-or-Pay”? A Potential TRAP for Employers!

Well I think we all recognize that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has created some seismic shifts in the way things can be done, including in the workplace (and I covered many of the risks and concerns of generative AI for employers in our June 2023 E-Update). Governments at all levels are taking action to try to put guardrails on the use of AI. And now, President Biden has signed an Executive Order on “Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence,” as summarized in a Fact Sheet. This is a wide-ranging EO, but one of the areas it specifically addresses is the impact on workers. Continue Reading What Impact Will President Biden’s AI Executive Order Have in the Workplace?