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31 Jan 2013 Senator Introduces Bill to Overturn NLRB Decisions

Fox News reports that Republican Senator John Barrasso “introduced legislation Wednesday that would freeze or overturn virtually every decision the National Labor Relations Board has made in the past year.”  This comes in the wake of the D.C. Circuit’s January 25, 2013 Noel Canning decision which we covered here. The story notes that the bill faces an uphill battle in the Democrat controlled Senate.  The full story can be found by clicking on the link below….

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25 Jan 2013 D.C. Circuit Holds NLRB Recess Appointments Invalid

In a groundbreaking decision issued this morning, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2012 (appointing Democratic members Richard Griffin and Sharon Block and Republican member Terrance Flynn, who has since resigned) were invalid as recess appointments because the Senate was not in recess.  And because the appointments were not valid, the D.C. Circuit held that the challenged Board order was also…

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23 Jan 2013 New York Times Examines NLRB Social Media Rulings

The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday summarizing the NLRB’s recent focus on employer social media policies. This is a topic we have been following for many months. See our prior posts here. The Times article correctly notes these rulings “apply to virtually all private sector employers” including non-union workplaces. It describes several recent cases and highlights social media policies issued or updated by several large employers, including Wal-Mart, GM and Costco. The New York Times article can be accessed…

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23 Jan 2013 Union Membership Numbers Continue to Decline

As measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of workers who are union members declined in 2012 for the fifth year in a row. The BLS annual report found that 11.3 percent of wage and salary workers were members of a union in 2012, down from 11.8 percent in 2011. The total number of workers belonging to a union also declined, down to 14.4 million from 14.8 million. As reported by the Washington…

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23 Jan 2013 Seventh Circuit Upholds Controversial Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law

The Seventh Circuit on Friday upheld Wisconsin’s controversial Act 10 limiting collective bargaining rights for most of the state’s public employees. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-held Wisconsin legislature had passed the law in February of 2011, despite significant protests by Wisconsin Democrats and union leaders. Union leaders challenged the law in federal court, claiming that it was unconstitutional, and the Western District of Wisconsin overturned some provisions of the law and upheld others…

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22 Jan 2013 Right To Work Challenge Dismissed in Federal Court

Operators Local 150 has been soundly tossed out of federal court in its effort to overturn Indiana’s Right to Work Act. In a decisive 24-page opinion, Judge Philip Simon of the Northern District of Indiana examined and dismissed every challenge to the Act raised by the Operating Engineers. The Union challenged the statute under the Contracts Clause, the Ex Post Facto Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They further challenged the Act as being pre-empted…

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14 Jan 2013 NLRB Now Permits Front Pay in Lieu of Reinstatement in Board Settlements

The NLRB has traditionally refused to include the concept of front pay in lieu of reinstatement in formal Board settlements. As such, if an employer was interested in resolving an NLRB case that involved employee terminations, but not interested in bringing those terminated employees back to work, the only avenue was a non-Board settlement. That may change based on a new guidance memo the Acting General Counsel issued Jan. 9, 2013. Noting that most agreements involving waivers of reinstatement in…

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09 Jan 2013 2013: Will NLRB Have Its Bobby Ewing Moment?

2012 was a tough year for stare decisis when it comes to federal labor law. It seemed as though every other week (and sometimes more often) longstanding NLRB precedent was overturned or ignored. From dues check-off rules to bargaining-unit definitions, decades old rules were swept aside by a Board seemingly determined to tip the balance against employers (and frequently employees) in favor of unions. 2012 was also a year in which the NLRB sought to…

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31 Dec 2012 Our Top 10 Labor Law Events of 2012

The Mayans predicted that the world would end in 2012. They were wrong. However, U.S. employers may well be feeling like life is over as they once knew it after the head-spinning events of 2012 in traditional labor law. And the scary thing is, the NLRB has just gotten started, folks, as it enters 2013 with a three-member majority, all of whom are pro-Union Democratic appointees. Your friends at BTLaborRelations.com have decided to again ring…

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28 Dec 2012 And the Hits Keep On Coming! Board Alters Approach on Witness Statements

For the last 30 years, the NLRB has held that employers were not required to produce to a Union copies of witness statements gathered in the course of an employer’s disciplinary investigation. In Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 237 NLRB 982 (1978), the Board had held that witness statements were confidential material and that “an employer’s duty to furnish information under Section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not encompass the duty to furnish witness statements.” The Board concluded in that case…

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