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15 Mar 2017 Seattle Legal Battles Mount: Uber Drivers and U.S. Chamber Fight Driver Unionization Law

  In January we shared a post about a labor battle brewing in Seattle and things look to be heating up. As we reported, the City of Seattle adopted its final rules to implement an ordinance allowing Uber and other for-hire drivers to unionize. The rules drew fire from both sides of the debate as they set specific unionization requirements, including the driver eligible requirements to vote for a union.   As of January, the…

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20 Feb 2017 Michigan Law Banning Automatic Payroll Deductions for Political Contributions Upheld

  The Michigan Campaign Finance Act will live on following a federal appellate court’s decision to uphold the law. By way of background, the Michigan Campaign Finance Act generally prohibits corporations and unions from contributing directly via automatic payroll deduction to political candidates, but allows contributions to political action committees (PAC). The Act was amended in 2015 to also prohibit automatic payroll deduction programs for PAC or campaign contributions, with limited exceptions.   The Michigan…

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23 Jan 2017 Will Seattle Uber Drivers Really Be Able to Unionize? Uber Takes Legal Action to Halt City Rules

  Last week, Uber, by way of a subsidiary, brought an action in Washington state court claiming that the City of Seattle’s recently adopted labor ordinance is arbitrary and capricious and that the City did not follow proper rulemaking procedures when they were adopted. The complaint also alleges that the city’s rulemaking process denied members of the public from having a “meaningful opportunity to comment.”   Late last year, Seattle news outlets started reporting about…

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23 Nov 2016 NLRB Affirms Decision Finding Charter Schools Subject to NLRA

  In a recent union election, two units of teachers and staff members at a Pennsylvania charter school overwhelmingly voted in favor of representation. See Agora Cyber Charter School, Case Nos. 04-RC-170767, 04-RC-179402 (NLRB, Nov. 16, 2016). The case offers an interesting look at the National Labor Relations Board’s jurisdictional limit to only private employers. Section 2(2) of the National Labor Relations Act provides that the term “employer” shall not include any state or political…

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30 Sep 2016 Can a Routine Phone Call Lead to Discipline? – The Blurry Line When it Comes to Weingarten Rights

  In a recent reversal by the NLRB, the Board held that the judge had inappropriately deferred to an arbitration award. Verizon California, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 79 (Aug. 19, 2016). The arbitrator had found that an employee was not entitled to Weingarten rights (the right to have union representation present) during a telephone call with his supervisor, but the Board held otherwise.   The employee in this case was a field technician with Verizon…

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29 Aug 2016 Disclose All Labor and Employment Complaints – Big Changes for Federal Contractors Coming October 2016

  A few weeks ago, we reported on pending regulations implementing an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2014. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which some are deeming the “blacklisting” order, imposes additional reporting requirements on federal contractors whereby they must submit extensive data on various types of labor law violations. Under the order, prospective federal contractors must disclose labor law violations under 14 covered federal statutes, including those addressing…

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07 Jul 2016 NLRB Begins Collecting Employer Information to Fulfill Executive Order

Co-authored by Keith Brodie and Jackie Gessner.   The Fair Places and Safe Workplaces Executive Order was issued by President Barack Obama on July 31, 2014. Like several other executive orders promulgated by the current administration, the order imposes additional labor-related obligations on federal contractors.   Employers likely haven’t heard much about this until now because federal agencies have been working to adopt regulations to implement the order. Final rules are on the horizon, but the…

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08 Jun 2016 Can Lawful Employer Policies Put Companies at Risk? NLRB Says Yes

Blog posts warning of the perils of employer handbook policies are starting to sound like broken records. However, a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision adds to the “handbook policy” reminders – even changes to employer practices regarding lawful policies can be risky when done at the wrong time.   In Intertape Polymer Corp., 363 NLRB No. 187 (May 10, 2016), the board affirmed its prior decision on remand from the Fourth Circuit, finding…

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13 May 2016 The Latest in the NLRB Handbook Saga? Another Unlawful Recording Policy Fails to Pass Muster

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yet again shed further light on its analysis – and increased scrutiny – of employers’ handbook policies.  The NLRB’s decision in T-Mobile USA, Inc., 363 NLRB No. 171 (Apr. 29, 2016), serves as a follow-up to an earlier decision with respect to rules restricting employees’ use of recording devices.  We talked about the T-Mobile decision in our post last week and thought we would continue the discussion…

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13 Apr 2016 Wisconsin Right-To-Work Law Ruled Unconstitutional by State Court Judge

Another state’s right-to-work law has been challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional – at least at the initial stage in the case. As we reported last year, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the “freedom-to-work” bill into law on March 9, and Wisconsin unions filed a lawsuit against the state the next day challenging its constitutionality. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel will pursue an appeal of the decision and is considering whether to appeal directly to the Wisconsin…

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