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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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03 Apr 2014 Northwestern Union Election Date Set

  The NLRB has set April 25 as election day for the scholarship athletes on the Northwestern football team to vote on whether they wish to be represented by the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). That date could be postponed after Northwestern appeals the decision of the NLRB’s Regional Director in Chicago to set CAPA’s petition for an election by the players. In that decision one week ago, the Regional Director ruled that he believed…

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02 Apr 2014 A Mixed Bag of Tricks for Michigan’s Right to Work Law

  As we previously reported, a number of lawsuits were filed challenging Michigan’s Right to Work Law.  One of those challenges was filed by the Michigan State AFL-CIO and several other labor groups in February 2013, alleging that the Right to Work law covering private sector employees was preempted by the federal law and therefore invalid.   The state officials named in the lawsuit responded by filing a motion to dismiss. On March 31, 2014,…

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02 Apr 2014 NLRB Weekly Summary of Decisions – March 24-28, 2014

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of March 24 – 28, 2014 is now available on the NLRB’s website. The summary can be accessed by clicking the link below. http://www.nlrb.gov/cases-decisions/weekly-summaries-decisions/summary-nlrb-decisions-week-march-24-28-2014     Scott WitlinScott J. Witlin is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department and the Entertainment and Music Practice Group. Mr. Witlin handles traditional labor and employment…

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28 Mar 2014 BTLabor Relations Blogger & Attorney Fields Questions on College Football Players Union Ruling

Want to know more about a recent decision by the NLRB’s Regional Director in Chicago that opens the door for Northwestern University’s college football players to unionize? Labor attorney and BTLabor Relations blogger Gerald Lutkus talked about what this decision means for private universities on a weekday sports radio show. Click here to hear what he had to say.   Gerald LutkusGerald F. (“Jerry”) Lutkus is a partner in the South Bend office of Barnes…

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26 Mar 2014 NLRB Directs Election at Northwestern – Scholarship Football Players are Employees

The Region 13 Director of the NLRB  directed today that an election be held at Northwestern University to determine if the  scholarship athletes that play football at the University wish to be represented by a Union.   In coming to that decision, Regional Director concluded that the scholarships athletes receive compensation from the university for the performance of athletic services and as such are employees.  The Director’s ruling, a copy of which is available here,…

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26 Mar 2014 NLRB Weekly Summary of Decisions

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated its website with a weekly summary of decisions for the week of March 18-21, 2014. The summary can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website or by clicking here. John KoenigJohn T.L. Koenig is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He maintains a national, full-service practice representing management exclusively in all aspects of labor and employment law.More Posts – Website

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26 Mar 2014 CRS Report Finds More Private Sector Workers Covered By Collective Bargaining Agreements Than Public Employees

A March 2014 report issued by Congressional Research Services (CRS) found that more private sector employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBA) in 2013 than public sector employees – a reversal from a trend that started in 2009 in which unionized public sector workers started to outpace their private sector counterparts. According to the report, 8.1 million private sector workers were covered by CBAs in 2013 compared to 7.9 public sector employees (in 2009,…

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24 Mar 2014 NLRB Chairman signals willingness to reverse Register Guard decision

There has been much speculation that the NLRB’s decision in Register Guard, 351 NLRB 1110 (2007), which involves employee use of employer email for union purposes, may be in jeopardy under the Obama Board.  As we previously covered, employee use of an employer’s email system was highlighted by NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin as an issue of “particular concern” to the NLRB.   The concerns about the viability of Register Guard obviously are well-founded, as…

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21 Mar 2014 NLRB Weekly Summary of Decisions – March 10-14, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a weekly summary of decisions for the week of March 10-14, 2014. The summary can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website or by clicking on the links that we’ve provided our readers with below. http://www.nlrb.gov/cases-decisions/weekly-summaries-decisions/summary-nlrb-decisions-week-march-10-14-2014 Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively to labor and employment law. He is…

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