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21 Jun 2017 Untangling the Web? Senator Introduces Bill to Reverse Obama-Era Ambush Union Election Rules

  During President Obama’s two terms in office, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a slew of game-changing decisions and rules affecting labor-management relations in the U.S. Perhaps none more so than the “ambush election rules” that took effect in April 2015. Those rules dramatically shortened the time an employer has to campaign against a union prior to an election in its workplace, among other things, and they continue to make headlines.   On…

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20 Jun 2017 SCOTUS Declines to Weigh in on Micro-Units, But There Still is Hope

  On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal filed by Macy’s, Inc., regarding a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that imposed a micro bargaining unit within one of the company’s department stores. Specifically, the NLRB held that a union could seek to represent only the fragrance and cosmetic workers on two floors of the store.   In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit…

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19 Jun 2017 Fahrenheit 180: DOJ Reverses Course, Abandons NLRB at Supreme Court in Class Action Fight

  The heat is turning up at the U.S. Supreme Court. Arguments to the Court regarding whether class action waivers should be permitted in the employment context recently just kicked off, and a major unexpected development already has emerged. On June 16, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did a 180 and filed a brief in support of three companies who are opposing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before the Court. The DOJ previously supported…

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16 Jun 2017 Retirees Proceed to Arbitration Over Slashed Benefits

  Retiree benefits are a big issue for many employers – from pure economic cost to administrative burdens. Accordingly, some companies have moved to limit or cut such benefits entirely over the years. Of course, when doing so, companies need to navigate various legal issues, including under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, to the extent a union is in the picture, the National Labor Relations Act and/or Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)….

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15 Jun 2017 UBER Arbitration Pact Tossed

  The assault on company-employee arbitration pacts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues. On June 13, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled an Uber Technologies arbitration agreement was unlawful. Uber required its software engineers to sign an agreement that compelled arbitration of claims against the company.   Specifically, the ALJ held that the language in the agreement was “ambiguous” as to employees’ rights to file charges with the NLRB or otherwise access…

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15 Jun 2017 ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!’ Class Action Waiver Battle Kicks Off At Supreme Court

  The class action waiver battle between employers and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been brewing for years. It’s finally coming to a head, as the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve the dispute earlier this year and a group of employers just filed their opening briefs in the matter.   Class action waivers are a tool utilized by companies to blunt costly and time-intensive class or collective claims brought by a large…

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13 Jun 2017 ‘BIG Little Lies’: Employer’s Inconsistent Practice Invalidates Employee Termination for Dishonesty, Says NLRB

  A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? That age-old saying appears to be false, at least when it comes to a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On June 9, the NLRB issued its decision in Cellco Partnership, 365 NLRB No. 93 (2017), which found that an employer unlawfully discharged an employee for dishonesty because the employer had handled terminations for lying inconsistently.   In the case, employee Bianca Cunningham,…

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12 Jun 2017 The Search Is On: Federal Court Upholds NLRB’s Imposition of Job-Search Costs on Employer

  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) not only has been augmenting the scope of issues it adjudicates in recent years, it also has been expanding its remedial powers. One example of this trend occurred in a bad faith bargaining case where the NLRB ordered an employer to pay negotiating costs/expenses incurred by a union.   In another case that came down in 2016, the NLRB changed its approach to awarding job-search expenses. Historically, the…

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09 Jun 2017 Can I Get Your Digits? NLRB Ruling Expands Quickie Election Rules To Cover Supervisors’ Possession Of Employee Phone Numbers

  The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “quickie election” rules that passed a few years ago have been a hot-button topic. One of the significant changes they brought about was the decrease in time employers have to furnish unions with contact information of employees potentially eligible to vote in union elections. The new rules reduce the allotted time from seven calendar days to two business days from the time an election is directed. In addition,…

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07 Jun 2017 Whose Law is it Anyway? NLRB Region’s Complaint Seeking to Have Contractors Converted to Employees Throws Agency into the Misclassification Fray with the IRS and DOL

  Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a huge area of concern for many companies, as a misclassification finding can result in big fines, penalties, and/or back wages and taxes. And those negative outcomes can be imposed by any one of several agencies – from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the Department of Labor (DOL) to state unemployment agencies. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may now be jumping into the misclassification fray….

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