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16 Mar 2012 Senate Democrats Insist That They Need a Little “RESPECT;” Seek to Narrow Definition of “Supervisor”

Senate Democrats are trying to get a little respect but not in the sense of the late Rodney Dangerfield. Late last week, Senate Democrats announced that they introduced a bill known as the Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers Act, or RESPECT Act. The bill is intended to narrow the definition of “supervisor” under the NLRA which would increase the amount of workers who are eligible to join unions. The latest version…

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14 Mar 2012 Right-to-Work Momentum Continues on Federal and State Levels

Last week, the National Right-to-Work Act was re-introduced in the Senate. The proposed legislation would repeal provisions of the NLRA and Railway Labor Act which allow employers/unions to agree to condition employment upon payment of union dues and fees. A PDF of the bill can be found here. Similarly, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee on a 7-6 vote has approved legislation which would place a right-to-work referendum on the November ballot. The proposed legislation is being framed…

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12 Mar 2012 NLRB Releases Overwhelming ULP Victory Rate for 2011 and Other Compelling Statistics

The NLRB released a summary of its operations for the 2011 fiscal year and the numbers were jarring, yet not surprising.  Most eye-catching was that NLRB Regional Offices won 87% of ULPs and compliance decisions in 2011. Other noteworthy statistics: – Initial elections in representation cases were conducted within 38 days from petition filing; – Approximately 92% of all initial elections were conducted within 56 days from petition filing; – Over $60 million was awarded to…

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09 Mar 2012 Judge Denies Employer Groups Request for Injunction in NLRB Notice Posting Case

As we discussed earlier in the week, a consortium of employer groups have appealed DC District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling on the NLRB’s notice posting requirements. On March 7, Judge Jackson denied the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction, which they filed concurrently with their appeal. By their injunction request, the plaintiffs’ sought to enjoin enforcement of the NLRB’s new posting requirement until the appeal is heard.  The posting requirement goes into effect on April 30.  Steve HernandezSteve L. Hernández is…

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09 Mar 2012 Study Quantifies Unionization’s Cost to Stock Market Value

In their study published in February’s issue of The Quarterly Journal of Economics, “Long-Run Impacts of Unions on Firms: New Evidence from Financial Markets, 1961–1999,” Princeton University Professor David Lee and University of California Professor Alexandre Mas estimated that an “average union effect on the equity value of the firm equivalent to $40,000 per unionized worker.” The professors noted that the loss was a combination of a transfer of wealth to workers and inefficiencies caused by the unions.  …

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08 Mar 2012 Challenges to NLRB Recess Appointments Mounting

A New York landlord has challenged a petition by the NLRB to enjoin a lockout of workers at a Brooklyn apartment complex, raising questions over the propriety of President Obama’s recess appointments. Paulsen v. Renaissance Equity Holdings, LLC (Case No. 12-CV-350).   In its pleadings, the defendant argues that congress was not in recess at the time of the appointments, and, therefore, the President’s appointments to the Board were not lawful recess appointments. Judge Brian Cogan of…

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07 Mar 2012 NLRB Weekly Summary of Cases: February 27, 2012 to March 2, 2012

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) weekly summary of decisions for the week of February 27 to March 2, 2012 is now available on the Board’s website. You can access the report by clicking here. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed by the labor law attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. The blog aims to be a source for news, analysis, and commentary on traditional labor legal issues, including news related to the NLRB and a variety of state issues.More Posts…

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06 Mar 2012 Employer Associations Appeal District Court NLRB Posting Decision

As expected, the plaintiffs in the case challenging the NLRB’s posting requirement have appealed Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s partial denial of their summary judgment motion, as well as her denial of their motion to supplement the pleadings to include a challenge to the President’s recess appointments to the NLRB.    As we have discussed previously, Judge Jackson had denied Plaintiff’s challenge to the posting requirement itself, while ruling in their favor by invalidating certain penalties…

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05 Mar 2012 Federal Court Refuses to Address Attempted Challenge to the President’s NLRB Recess Appointments

As we have previously discussed here, a group of business organizations have attempted to challenge the validity of President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board as part of their case challenging the NLRB’s quickie election rules. On March 2, 2012, Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied the request to add the recess-appointment-challenging claims and did not address the legality of the appointments.  In her ruling, Judge Jackson stated, “[s]o the question of…

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05 Mar 2012 Michigan bill prohibiting grad students from unionizing passes House

Organizing Michigan graduate student research assistants (known as GSRAs) were struck a blow recently after the state House passed a bill aimed at prohibiting the students from unionizing.  SB 971 amended Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act (PERA) to specifically exclude GSRAs from the definition of “public employees” for the purposes of unionization. The bill passed the Michigan House by a 62-45 vote on March 1. The bill had previously been passed by the Senate in…

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