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22 Aug 2017 NBA Team’s Electronic Display Operators are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says NLRB

  On Aug. 18, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that a group of electronic display operators for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves were employees, not independent contractors. The case came about after the electronic display crew filed a petition to have a union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, represent them. The Timberwolves argued that the representation petition should be dismissed on grounds the workers were independent contractors, as the National Labor Relations…

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16 Aug 2017 Fractured Workforce: Federal Court Approves Micro-Unit Certified by NLRB

  Unfortunately, it appears the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent trend of certifying micro-units is here to stay until a pro-management majority at the agency is confirmed, which may not happen as soon as we once thought. On Aug. 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed an NLRB decision against Rhino Northwest LLC that found a small, discrete segment of that company’s workers could be properly certified as a bargaining unit….

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15 Aug 2017 A Nice Change of Pace: NLRB Upholds Employer’s Confidential Information Policy

  From social media policies to positive workplace environment statements to non-employee access to company property procedures, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has struck down numerous company personnel policies in recent years on grounds they “chill” employees’ ability to engage in protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The board generally cites Section 7 of the NLRA as support for its positions, which protects employees engaging in “concerted activity” for “mutual aid…

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11 Aug 2017 Union Corruption: UAW and Auto Manufacturer Officials Allegedly Embezzled Millions in Union-Member Funds

  Union corruption probes, unfortunately, continue to make headlines. One of the latest centers on a United Auto Workers (UAW) National Training Center in Michigan. There, a former executive has pled guilty to siphoning more than $4.5 million in funds that were to be used to train UAW members.   The man, who was controller, helped to “steer funds, plane tickets, mortgage payments and other goods valued at more than $4.5 million to UAW Vice…

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09 Aug 2017 Short-Lived Victory for Employers? NLRB Chairman Reportedly Stepping Down in December

  BNA Bloomberg and Law360 are reporting that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman Philip Miscimarra is stepping down when his current five-year term expires in December rather than seeking reappointment. Miscimarra reportedly is leaving the agency for personal reasons.   Having been the lone pro-management voice on the NLRB for an extended period and consistently being out-voted by his pro-union counterparts, Chairman Miscimarra’s dissents have been colorful and may provide a glimpse as to…

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09 Aug 2017 Paying the Piper? More Than 30,000 Teamsters to Vote on Pension Cuts

  Multi-employer pension funds around the country continue to face mounting difficulties, as the recession in 2008 accelerated the financial freefall of many of the plans. Things now may be coming to a head: More than 30,000 participants in the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund – one of the country’s many severely underfunded plans – are voting on proposed cuts to their benefits.   The decreases in benefits   are an attempt…

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07 Aug 2017 Third Time is NOT the Charm: Nissan Smokes UAW Again in Union Vote

  More than 3,500 Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, overwhelmingly voted against union representation by the United Auto Workers (UAW) on Aug. 3 and 4. The final vote tally was 2,244 to 1,307.   This follows two prior defeats of the UAW by Nissan in 1989 and 2001, so third time is not the charm. It also is the latest in a long line of losses by the UAW in the South and within foreign…

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31 Jul 2017 ‘Absurd Results’: NLRB Takes ‘Facebook Discipline Cases’ to New Heights (Or New Lows, Depending on Your Point of View)

  In a July 27 opinion that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman Philip Miscimarra characterized as “absurd,” a majority of NLRB members overturned an employee’s discharge for a Facebook post that encouraged a former coworker to sue the company. The case was filed against Butler Medical Transport, LLC, by former employees challenging terminations made pursuant to the company’s social media policy.   The social media policy at issue provided, “I will refrain from using social…

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28 Jul 2017 WARNING: No Solicitation

  Few things are more painful for a company to go through than a union election. One of those things is when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) orders a “re-run” election due to alleged misconduct by the employer (i.e., the company has to go through the entire contentious, cumbersome, and costly process again).   Various types of misconduct by companies can give rise to a re-run election. One such category is “solicitation of grievances,”…

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26 Jul 2017 Woo-hoo! Federal Court Overrules NLRB, Says Companies Can Require Employees to Promote Positivity

  The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) attack on personnel policies has been well-chronicled over the years. In May 2016, however, the NLRB’s view of handbook policies arguably peaked when it struck down numerous policies in a T-Mobile handbook, including one that generally asked employees to be professional and maintain a “positive work environment.” In that case, the NLRB explained its view by stating: “[w]e find that employees would reasonably construe the rule to restrict…

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