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30 Mar 2016 California Labor Row Highlights Importance of Supreme Court Nomination Decision

  Just over a month since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, a now-equally divided U.S. Supreme Court (4-4) issued a single-page per curiam opinion on March 29 affirming the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn., which allows public-sector unions in California to charge compulsory union fees to employees. This decision, while unsurprising considering the makeup of the court without Justice Scalia, had been expected to be…

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27 May 2015 DOL and FAR Council Propose Guidance and Regulations to Implement Executive Order

Earlier today, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed guidance and regulations to implement the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, E.O. 13673, which was signed by President Obama on July 31, 2014. The Order requires prospective federal contractors to disclose certain labor law violations and will give agencies more guidance on how to consider labor law violations when awarding federal contracts. Per the DOL’s press release: “most federal contractors will only…

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07 Jan 2015 NLRB Sued Over Quickie Election Rule

In an utterly unsurprising development, a coalition of trade associations headed by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America filed a lawsuit  against the National Labor Relations Board (the NLRB) before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 5, 2015, alleges that the NLRB’s implementation of its  “Quickie Election” final rule (the Final Rule, discussed here previously) would violate the First Amendment, the Due Process…

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06 Jan 2015 NLRB Upholds Subpoena of Employer’s Employee Handbook

On the last day of 2014, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (the Board or NLRB) denied a Massachusetts-based waste-services provider’s request to revoke a document subpoena issued by the Regional Director of Region 1 of the NLRB. By the subpoena, Region 1 sought the “Employee Handbook” of the employer. In seeking to revoke the subpoena, the employer argued that Region 1 was investigating two charges, neither of which alleged “a violation…

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12 Nov 2014 Ebola Strikes

The California Nurses Association, currently in heated negotiations with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, sponsored a two-day strike (November 11 and 12, 2014) to “stop eroding patient care conditions & provide better #Ebola safeguards” (per CNA’s Facebook page).   For its part, Kaiser issued a press release stating, “[t]o the public, the union is claiming this strike is about Ebola. But the fact is Kaiser Permanente teams have been working on preparations for Ebola non-stop. We are…

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22 Sep 2014 NLRB Says There is Such Thing as a Free Lunch

  This week, the National Labor Relations Board (the NLRB) attempted to disprove the old addage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. In Gates & Sons Barbeque of Missouri, Inc., decided on September 16, 2014, the three-member panel of the NLRB unanimously affirmed most of the decision reached by an administrative law judge (the ALJ) that a Kansas City barbecue restaurant chain violated employee rights by taking away the meal benefits previously…

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20 Aug 2014 NLRB Chooses Form Over Function

  In a 2 to 1 decision issued on August 15, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) refused to count 23 challenged ballots  of employees not on the eligibility list in an election that  the union won 21 to 20. The 23 employees were not on the eligibility list because each of those employees was hired during the 8-month period between the initially agreed upon eligibility date of March 8, 2013 (for an agreed-upon…

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25 Jul 2014 Strike Two for Right-to-Work Statute in Indiana

  For the second time in less than a year,  a state-court judge in Indiana has ruled Indiana’s right-to-work statute, which went into effect in 2012 and prohibits compulsory union dues, unlawful.  While a previous state-court ruling against the right-to-work statute, issued last September, was stayed by the deciding judge, Judge Paras of Lake County Circuit Court ruled on July 24, 2014 that the statute was unlawful and that his ruling should take effect immediately. …

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16 Apr 2014 NLRB Requires Employer to Pay Union’s Negotiation Expenses in Refusal to Bargain Case

  Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered a hospital employer to pay the negotiating costs of the union representing its employees as a remedy for the hospital’s unlawful refusal to bargain with the union. In Fallbrook Hospital Corporation dba Fallbrook Hospital and California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), AFL-CIO, the NLRB upheld the decision made by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that the hospital had unlawfully refused to bargain with…

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07 Apr 2014 Not April Foolin’: National Labor Relations Board Finds Employer Rule Requiring Positivity and Professionalism Unlawful

  On April 1, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB” or the “Board”) ruled unlawful an employer policy requiring that its employees refrain from negativity in the workplace an in the community.At issue in Hills and Dales General Hospital were three paragraphs in the employer’s “Values and Standards of Behavior Policy:”  1.) Paragraph 11 prohibited employees from making “negative comments about our fellow team members,” (including coworkers and managers; 2.) Paragraph 16 required…

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