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19 Jun 2017 Fahrenheit 180: DOJ Reverses Course, Abandons NLRB at Supreme Court in Class Action Fight

  The heat is turning up at the U.S. Supreme Court. Arguments to the Court regarding whether class action waivers should be permitted in the employment context recently just kicked off, and a major unexpected development already has emerged. On June 16, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did a 180 and filed a brief in support of three companies who are opposing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before the Court. The DOJ previously supported…

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15 Jun 2017 UBER Arbitration Pact Tossed

  The assault on company-employee arbitration pacts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues. On June 13, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled an Uber Technologies arbitration agreement was unlawful. Uber required its software engineers to sign an agreement that compelled arbitration of claims against the company.   Specifically, the ALJ held that the language in the agreement was “ambiguous” as to employees’ rights to file charges with the NLRB or otherwise access…

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15 Jun 2017 ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!’ Class Action Waiver Battle Kicks Off At Supreme Court

  The class action waiver battle between employers and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been brewing for years. It’s finally coming to a head, as the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve the dispute earlier this year and a group of employers just filed their opening briefs in the matter.   Class action waivers are a tool utilized by companies to blunt costly and time-intensive class or collective claims brought by a large…

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26 May 2017 Senator Introduces Bill To Amend NLRA And Reverse Micro-Unit Trend

  It’s been a busy few weeks on the micro-unit front. As just reported on the blog, Chairman Philip Miscimarra recently signaled he would like to overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB 934 (2011), that gave rise to a wave of micro-units in recent years. Following on the heels is news out of the Senate on May 24 that some members of Congress also…

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17 Apr 2017 NLRB Invalidates Another Employer Arbitration Agreement – But NOT Under D.R. Horton

  On April 13, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invalidated yet another employer arbitration program. This time, however, the NLRB did not do so under its infamous D.R. Horton case. In Dish Network, LLC, the NLRB struck down an arbitration agreement an employer used with its workforce because: 1) as drafted, employees would reasonably construe it as limiting or prohibiting them from filing charges with the NLRB; and 2) a confidentiality provision within the…

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14 Mar 2017 The Legality of Local Municipal Right-to-Work Laws; Will A Circuit Split Lead To Supreme Court Review

  On November 21, 2016, we reported that in Autoworkers Local 3047 v. Hardin County, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that local units of government could pass right-to-work ordinances under the National Labor Relations Act. Subsequently, on January 9, 2017 we reported that the state of Kentucky became a right-to-work state, a decision that seemingly ended any controversy concerning the Hardin County ordinance and litigation. However, a group of local unions have continued…

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09 Feb 2017 Missouri Adopts Right-to-Work, Are the Feds Next?

  This week, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed into law Missouri’s new Right-to-Work Act. At roughly the same time, Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Joe Wilson of South Carolina introduced the national Right-to-Work Act that would amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act to remove language allowing unions to require membership as a condition of employment.   Republicans, including King and Wilson in 2015, have tried to push a…

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31 Jul 2015 NLRB: Filing an FLSA Collective Action is Protected Concerted Activity

The NLRB determined this week that an individual who filed a collective action FLSA claim in federal court was engaged in protected concerted activity – even if no other employees asked him to do it.   NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Member Lauren McFerran agreed in the case of 200 E. 81st Rest. Corp., 362 N.L.R.B. No. 152 (7/29/15), that the individual employee’s action was protected concerted activity and that the employer’s post-filing firing…

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18 Jun 2014 NLRB General Counsel Pushes for Broader Access to Employer E-Mail Systems

  NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin pushed onward this week with his stated agenda of overturning prior NLRB precedent to legitimize employee use of company email systems for union organizing activity as well as other protected concerted activities.   On Monday of this week, the General Counsel filed his brief in the Purple Communications case now pending before the Board. In that brief, Griffin called for the Board to overturn its previous decision in Register-Guard…

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19 May 2014 “Picture Perfect”: NLRB ALJ Finds Company’s Photographing Of Employees Holding Demonstrations Inside Plant Illegal Along With Its Policy Limiting Employee Photography

  On Thursday, May 15, 2014, a NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (Act) by photographing hundreds of employees who were conducting in-plant marches in support of their contract demands that were at the center of pending successor contract negotiations between a union and the company. The company argued its photography was justified because the employee marches disrupted production and it needed to monitor the situation. The ALJ, however, rejected the employer’s…

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