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24 Oct 2016 Smaller Bonuses for Union Employees Not Discriminatory or Inherently Destructive, But Failure to Give Notice Leads to Unilateral Change Liability

    An Oct. 11, decision by an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) reinforces several important lessons employers should heed when paying bonuses (or providing other benefits) to union employees and other non-union employees. In Viejas Band of Komeyaay Indians d/b/a Viejas Casino & Resort, Case No. 21-CA-166290, the ALJ first found that the agency did indeed have jurisdiction over the Viejas Casino & Resort run by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. The ALJ…

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19 Oct 2016 Operators Local 150 General Counsel Sues for Defamation

  Dale Pierson, attorney and general counsel for Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, has brought suit against the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) claiming the group defamed him in its online posts that reported on the union’s litigation effort to overturn Indiana’s Right-to-Work Act.   NILRR identifies itself as “a non-profit research facility analyzing and exposing the inequities of compulsory unionism.” It is located in Springfield, Virginia, and maintains…

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05 Oct 2016 The Hits Keep On Coming: NLRB General Counsel’s Office Seeks Potential Modifications to the Law Regarding Intermittent Strikes

  National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case law has long held that  while “full” strikes constitute protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), intermittent strikes (a pattern of going out, coming back, going out again) generally are unprotected. “Unprotected” does not mean that a labor union is prohibited from engaging in the activity (i.e., they do not constitute an 8(b) violation under the Act); rather, it means employees engage in the activity at…

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04 Oct 2016 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of Sept. 19-23

  The summary of NLRB decisions for the week of Sept. 19-23 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Kelaye Concrete LLCV  (19-CA-168201, 19-CA-171176 and 19-CA-171823; 364 NLRB No. 123)  Boring, OR, September 19, 2016.   The Board granted the General Counsel’s motion for default judgment based on the Respondent’s failure to file an answer to the consolidated complaint.  The Board found that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1) by: (1) threatening employees that they would not…

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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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23 Sep 2016 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of Sept. 12-16

  The summary of NLRB decisions for the week of Sept. 12-16 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Hanson Cold Storage Co. of Indiana d/b/a Hanson Logistics  (13-CA-178619; 364 NLRB No. 121)  Hobart, IN, September 13, 2016.   The Board granted the General Counsel’s motion for summary judgment in this test-of-certification case on the ground that the Respondent failed to raise any issues that were not, or could not have been, litigated in…

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16 Sep 2016 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of Aug. 29 – Sept. 2

  The summary of NLRB decisions for the week of Aug. 29 – Sept. 2 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Pittsburgh Athletic Association  (06-CA-169088; 364 NLRB No. 105)  Pittsburgh, PA, August 29, 2016.   The Board granted the General Counsel’s motion for default judgment based on the Respondent’s failure to file an answer to the complaint.  The Board found that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) by failing to bargain collectively…

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09 Sep 2016 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of Aug. 15 – 19

  The summary of NLRB decisions for the week of Aug. 15-19 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Retro Environmental, Inc./Green Jobworks, LLC  (05-RC-153468; 364 NLRB No. 70)  Washington, DC, August 16, 2016.   In this decision on review, a Board panel majority consisting of Chairman Pearce and Member Hirozawa reversed the Regional Director’s dismissal of the petition, finding that Retro Environmental, Inc. and Green JobWorks, LLC are joint employers of the employees in…

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07 Sep 2016 NLRB Member Kent Y. Hirozawa’s Term Expires – But He Left His Mark On U.S. Labor Law

  Kent Y. Hirozawa’s term as a National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) member expired on August 27, 2016, leaving the Board with three members (the minimum number needed for a quorum). Hirozawa originally was sworn in as an appointee of President Barack Obama on August 5, 2013. Widely viewed as a “pro-labor” Board member, he participated in numerous Board decisions / actions during his three years that pose profound implications for employers. To wit:  …

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31 Aug 2016 NLRB: Is Misclassification of Independent Contractors an Unfair Labor Practice?

  The question: Is misclassification of independent contractors an unfair labor practice? The answer: Not yet.   In an advice memorandum dated December 18, 2015, but just issued this week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) tangled with the question of whether mere misclassification of truck drivers as independent contractors constituted an independent unfair labor practice charge. The NLRB Advice Memo does not quite get there. However, in circumstances where there is a misclassification supplemented with…

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