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18 Oct 2017 What’s Your Preference? NLRB Adopts Federal Court’s Ruling Permitting Hospital’s Nonunion Hiring Preference Policy

  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently was forced to accept a First Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling earlier this year that a hospital’s hiring preference policy applicable to its nonunion employees was lawful. The board originally had ruled the policy violated the National Labor Relations Act.   The hospital system at issue had both union and nonunion sites. At a union site, there was a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that contained a provision giving…

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16 Oct 2017 Survey Says: Incentive-Based Pay Systems Provide Higher Compensation Than Time-Based Models

  Anyone who has engaged in collective bargaining knows that, generally, unions throw their arms up at any proposal dealing with incentive-based pay versus time-based pay systems. Their rationale can range from distrust to unfounded beliefs that incentive-based pay somehow detracts from seniority. However, new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – a government entity that tracks labor data in the U.S. – gives some nice bargaining ammunition to employers looking to…

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06 Oct 2017 Will Congress Act to Stave Off the Broadening Definition of Joint Employment?

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took a step forward on Oct. 4. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce 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…

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04 Oct 2017 NLRB Dodges Massive Budget Cuts, But Some Predict Changes Still on the Horizon

  A recent Republican attempt to cut the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) budget failed, but some are speculating that similar future appropriations efforts may prevail and, at a minimum, the recent board appointments by President Trump likely will result in changes at the agency.   The appropriations bill at issue was introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), and it sought to slash the NLRB’s discretionary spending budget by nearly half. In support of his…

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18 Sep 2017 Keeping Up With the NLRB: Agency Releases Updated Outline of Law and Procedure in Representation Cases

  The web of rules imposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on union elections always is rapidly evolving. From the “quickie election rules” implemented by the NLRB in April 2015 to decisions altering the types of misconduct that can be used to “re-run” a vote, it can be hard to keep up.   One great resource available to employers is the NLRB’s “Outline of Law and Procedure in Representation Cases,” which summarizes and…

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15 Sep 2017 Follow the Money: Union Organizers Set Their Sights on Silicon Valley, Tech Companies

  With their numbers on a continued decline, private sector American unions are on the search for new members. According to a recent Bloomberg article, labor organizers are setting their sights on the booming tech market and Silicon Valley in an attempt to grow their ranks. The article details how in recent years various unions, such as UNITE HERE and the Teamsters, have prevailed in organizing more than 5,000 workers on various tech giants’ campuses….

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13 Sep 2017 Iowa Law Targeting Public Sector Unions Going into Effect

  Iowa recently passed a law that significantly curtails the powers of its public sector unions. Specifically, the law drastically limits the subjects over which those unions can bargain, primarily to wages. Further, before entering into any collective bargaining negotiation, each local public union must hold and prevail in a “recertification election.” A majority of the covered employees must vote to assent to continued union representation.   The law became effective in February, but the…

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05 Sep 2017 Labor Day 2017: State of the U.S. Labor Unions

  A broad look at the U.S. labor relations landscape shows it is a mixed bag for labor groups at the moment. In its just-released annual poll tracking public support for labor unions, Gallup data indicates support for unions is growing.   According to Gallup: “In the U.S., 61 percent of adults say they approve of labor unions, the highest percentage since the 65 percent approval recorded in 2003. The current labor union approval is…

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01 Sep 2017 Elon Musk’s Tesla Targeted By UAW And NLRB

  On the heels of a major election loss at Nissan in Canton, Mississippi, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has shifted focus to another car manufacturer in which it has no current foothold: Tesla. The UAW has been attempting to unionize workers at Tesla’s since the beginning of this year, but it has been unsuccessful in garnering enough interest to petition a vote.   So what do you do if you are the UAW…

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30 Aug 2017 Federal Court Puts Up Roadblock in Seattle’s Quest to Grant Uber and Lyft Drivers Union Organizing Rights

  A Seattle ordinance that grants drivers for Uber, Lyft and other similar ride-hailing companies the right to form unions remains on hold after an Aug. 29 federal court ruling. Back in 2015, Seattle passed a law allowing the drivers to organize and bargain over pay, benefits, and more. Because Uber and Lyft classify drivers as independent contractors, their drivers are not permitted to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act due to the fact…

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