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27 Nov 2018 Do Employee Safety Policies Require Negotiation With A Union?

Employee safety is paramount. Companies regularly evaluate, modify, and implement policies and processes to ensure they provide safe places to work. If a company has a union, however, does the employer have to negotiate with the union before changing or implementing safety policies? A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) shows the answer to that question often is “yes.”   In a Nov. 20 decision in the case Orchids Paper Products Co.,…

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15 Nov 2018 Gloves-Off: NLRB Union Staffers Protest Trump Board

Since President Trump overhauled the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last year, much change has been afoot. Aside from significant rulings being issued by the agency, various administrative and staffing changes have been contemplated and/or formally announced. The board also terminated its collective bargaining agreement with the union representing its staff members – the NLRB Professional Association – in order to renegotiate its terms. These changes have not been well received by at least some of…

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13 Nov 2018 Clearance: NLRB Member Cleared By Ethics Officer To Participate In Joint Employer Rulemaking

Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Inspector General issued a report concluding that current board Member William Emanuel should have recused himself from a significant decision at the end of 2017 involving joint employment under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) based on an alleged conflict of interest. As a result of that report, the 2017 decision was vacated. Since that time, the NLRB has announced it plans to tackle the joint employment issue via…

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06 Nov 2018 Transparency? Unions May Be Gearing Up To Fight New Finance Reporting Rules

The Department of Labor (DOL) likely will be issuing new financial reporting rules for unions and their affiliates according to a recent report from Bloomberg Law. Federal laws, such as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, require unions to file certain financial disclosure documents with the DOL detailing how they are spending their members’ dues money (e.g., officer salaries, etc.).   According to the Bloomberg report, the DOL is preparing two likely proposals. The report…

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01 Nov 2018 Comment Period for NLRB’s Highly Anticipated Joint-Employer Rule Extended

The NLRB extended the comment period for its proposed new joint-employer rule, giving the public another 30 days to weigh in on what has been a hot-button issue for businesses who use staffing companies or franchise models. On Sept. 13, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unveiled a proposed new rule regarding joint employment under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which stands to make it more difficult for the board to impose a joint-employer…

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30 Oct 2018 Green Light! NLRB OKs Petition Seeking To Oust Union

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) makes it extremely difficult for a union to be removed from the workplace once it has been voted in by employees or voluntarily recognized by an employer. One of the few routes available for a union’s ouster are petitions that can be filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claiming that a union has lost a “majority of support” amongst the employees at issue.   There are many…

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26 Oct 2018 NLRB GC Action May Make Unions More Accountable To Their Members

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), unions owe their members a “duty of fair representation.” For example, a union may violate the act if it refuses or fails to process an employee grievance based on arbitrary, discriminatory, or bad faith reason. To the extent unions violate their duty of representation, they can be found by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to have violated the act and have penalties imposed on them.   On…

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18 Oct 2018 NLRB Signals We May Not Get Clarity On Construction Industry CBAs Just Yet

On Sept. 11, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invited the public to file briefs on legal issues pertaining to construction industry labor agreements. Most private sector collective bargaining agreements are governed by Section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act, which generally requires that a majority of the employees in the bargaining unit support having a union represent them. In the construction industry, though, labor agreements are presumed to be covered by Section 8(f)…

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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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