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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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21 Nov 2017 Time Crunch: NLRB Report Confirms Union Elections Remain ‘Quick’ Under New Rules

  A recently released report from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirms that the agency’s “quickie election” rules, that went into effect in April 2015, have significantly truncated the time employers have to conduct union campaigns. Under the old rules, from April 14, 2014, through Jan. 12, 2015, the median time from a union petition being filed to election was 38 days. For fiscal year 2017, the median time from petition to election was…

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21 Nov 2017 DOL Head Slams NLRB’s Vague Test for Joint Employment

  According to a recent report by Bloomberg BNA, Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Alexander Acosta expressed dissatisfaction for the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) joint-employment test during remarks to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers’ Convention. Specifically, while discussing his view of the DOL’s test for joint employment, he brought up and criticized the NLRB’s approach to the issue. He described the NLRB’s rule as being too vague and potentially infringing on the “freedom to…

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20 Nov 2017 Unions Struggling to Negotiate Wage Increases on Par With 2016

  A collection of 590 union contracts negotiated in September and October reveals that on average, unions have been unable to obtain pay hikes at the levels they did last year. In 2016, the average first-year increase negotiated by unions was 2.8 percent. However, the most recent contracts from this year reveal an average first-year increase of only 2.5 percent. The data on these recent contracts show that private sector non-manufacturing unions have struggled more…

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15 Nov 2017 Survey Says: Employees Still Value Validation Over Compensation

  For decades, survey after survey has shown that recognition, respect, etc., are far more important to employees than compensation. A new survey from Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute confirms that the trend continues. One of the best things about this, in my opinion, is that every manager can impact things like recognition in the workplace in a positive way. In short, there are small things managers can do every day to improve their workplaces, employee…

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14 Nov 2017 NLRB Protected Concerted Activity or Harassment – Will Employers Finally Get Clarity?

  Yesterday, it was announced the NLRB and EEOC will issue a guidance in an effort to help employers better understand overlapping obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Title VII. The guidance no doubt is the result of a longstanding tension between an employee’s right to openly communicate about workplace issues (protected concerted activity) and an employers’ obligation under Title VII to prevent workplace harassment and bias, and be proactive about doing…

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09 Nov 2017 Game Changer? New NLRB General Counsel Confirmed By Senate

  The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) makeover continues. On Nov. 8, Peter Robb became the board’s new general counsel when he was confirmed by the Senate. Robb’s addition to the NLRB is potentially great news for employers, as he likely brings a more business-friendly approach than his predecessor Richard Griffin. With Griffin at the helm, the NLRB significantly departed from long-established precedent favoring employers, such as its test for finding “joint employment.”   The…

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08 Nov 2017 Action! House Passes Legislation to Stave Off Broadening Definition of Joint Employment

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took another step forward on Nov. 8. The House of Representatives passed legislation that would redefine “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to only cover instances when two or more companies have direct control (as opposed to merely indirect or potential control) over a group of workers. In other words, if ultimately signed into law, the bill would…

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06 Nov 2017 Senior Officials Tossed from Union in Wake of Sexual Harassment Allegations

  A tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations has been making headlines recently. Now, throw the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – the nation’s second largest union – into the discussion of organizations reeling from sexual harassment claims.   It has been reported that a couple of high ranking officials in the SEIU have been fired or forced to resign in the wake of sexual harassment/sexual misconduct allegations. The problem may be widespread within labor…

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03 Nov 2017 FBI Autocompany/Union Training Center Corruption Investigation Widens

  The Detroit News is reporting that the corruption investigation into the United Auto Workers (UAW) training centers for workers is expanding to training centers funded by all three Detroit automakers. The article also indicates the automakers themselves are not a target.   The initial FBI investigation focused solely on Fiat Chrysler (FC) and the UAW. Indictments of a FC executive and UAW staff followed. However, the Detroit News is now reporting investigators are possibly interested in Joe Ashton, a retired…

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02 Nov 2017 Union Improperly Used Strikes and Grievances to Obtain Disputed Work, Says Appeals Court

  In May 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that an International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) local unlawfully used strikes and grievances in an effort to obtain certain work on construction sites that had been given to members of another union.  That decision was challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld the NLRB’s ruling on Oct. 31.   While the NLRB allows a union to utilize…

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