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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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10 Oct 2018 Does “Creating the Impression of Surveillance” Violate Labor Law?

When it comes to union organizing, Section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) vests employers with broad “free speech” rights to voice their opinions on unions to their workforces. The NLRA, however, also places limits on what employers can do if their employees express interest in forming a union. Generally, companies cannot: threaten employees based on their union activity interrogate workers about their union activity, sentiments, etc. make promises to employees to induce…

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05 Oct 2018 Reckless Driving: Employee Discharge For Antics On Public Highway Upheld

One of the more nuanced issues employers have to navigate in the world of labor relations is evaluating whether discipline can be imposed on an employee engaged in “protected activity.” Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), various employee actions are protected, such as engaging in a strike or speaking out about shared concerns in the workplace. When employees are discharged for misconduct that occurs while they are engaged in protected activity, such decisions routinely…

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02 Oct 2018 Federal Court Shoots Down Illinois Town’s Right-To-Work Law

Illinois is completely surrounded by right-to-work states that have laws making it unlawful for companies to require union dues as a condition of employment. While the state of Illinois is unlikely to pass such legislation of its own, the Illinois village of Lincolnshire attempted to enact a right-to-work ordinance in 2015 that would have been applicable to companies and unions within its borders. Unions filed a lawsuit to have the village’s ordinance voided, and a…

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25 Sep 2018 You’ve Got Mail! NLRB Chairman Issues Letter Regarding Employer Email Case

Per an announcement last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is contemplating changing its current stance related to employer policies governing employee use of company email systems. Under current board law, employers generally cannot prohibit employees from using a company’s email system for union organizing purposes or other activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act. In a pending case, the agency is considering whether companies may be permitted to institute blanket bans on…

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18 Sep 2018 Preempted: Wisconsin Law Offering Shorter Union Opt-Out Window Overturned

Under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), unions can make employees’ authorizations for union dues to be deducted from their paychecks irrevocable for up to one year. But can a state enact a law that truncates that revocability period? According to a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the answer is no.   In 2015, Wisconsin passed a law that mandated employee union dues authorizations be revocable after 30…

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14 Sep 2018 NLRB releases draft joint employer rule rolling back Browning-Ferris

Yesterday, the NLRB released its long-awaited draft rule that would roll back its controversial Browning-Ferris decision, which established a much looser test for determining when two companies are joint employers of a group of employees.   Since 2015, that ruling has been the bane of many employers’ existences. Many have argued that the Browning-Ferris joint employer standard has made it much more difficult to determine whether employers are joint employers, especially in temporary employee and…

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13 Sep 2018 Is That A Section 9(a) Or 8(f) Agreement? The NLRB May Soon Be Providing More Clarity.

Most private sector collective bargaining agreements are governed by Section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act, and that section generally requires that a majority of the employees in the bargaining unit support having a union represent them. Things are different in the construction industry. In that industry, labor agreements are presumed to be covered by Section 8(f) of the act, which does not require such a showing of majority support.   On September 11,…

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07 Sep 2018 Does Enrolling In E-Verify Violate Labor Law?

Many employers utilize E-Verify in an effort to ensure compliance with pertinent immigration laws. This web-based system run by the Department of Homeland Security enables companies to verify eligibility of their workers to be employed in the U.S. But does an employer’s decision to enroll in E-Verify violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)? According to a new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision, in some circumstances, it may.   On August 27, the board…

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31 Aug 2018 Labor Day 2018: State of the U.S. Labor Unions

A broad look at the U.S. labor relations landscape heading into the 2018 Labor Day Weekend shows it is a mixed bag for organized labor at the moment. In Gallup’s just-released annual poll tracking public support for labor unions, data indicates support for unions is growing.   According to Gallup: “Sixty-two percent of Americans approve of labor unions today, which is consistent with the 61% who approved last year [2017] and up from 56% in…

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30 Aug 2018 Polite President or Political Deal? Trump Renominates Pro-Union Mark Gaston Pearce To NLRB

This week, President Donald Trump renominated former chairman and member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Mark Gaston Pearce to a third term. Pearce, who served as chairman of the NLRB from 2011 to the change in administrations in January 2017, is a former union lawyer appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2010. Trump, who appointed two pro-management board members within the last year in Marvin Kaplan and Bill Emanuel, may have been…

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