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16 Jul 2015 No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Teamsters Sue Airline…FOR PAYING OUT EMPLOYEE BONUSES!

In an unusual move last week, the Teamsters union sued a regional airline in Indianapolis because the company, without bargaining, allegedly paid out bonuses to the pilots the union represents, and also allegedly started offering higher pay rates than what was contained in the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. Technically, employers must bargain any changes to terms and conditions of union employees’ employment – whether favorable or unfavorable. As a practical matter, however, most unions do…

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13 Jul 2015 Fees For Union Services Still Prohibited In “Right-to-Work States”… At Least For Now

As previously reported on the blog, the NLRB was planning on revisiting its precedent that makes it illegal for unions to charge “fees” to non-dues paying members in right-to-work states for processing grievances and other “services” the unions may provide. Unions often refer to these as “fair share” fees. The issue was before the board in the case United Steel, Paper and Forestry  Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Local 1192…

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16 Jun 2015 NLRB Reaches Agreement With The Republic Of Colombia To Educate Colombian Citizens On The NLRA

Following up on agreements the NLRB has entered into with the embassies of Mexico, the Philippines and Ecuador, the NLRB entered into an agreement with the Republic of Colombia on June 11, 2015, in which they will seek to educate Colombian workers, employers and business owners within the United States on their respective rights and obligations under the NLRA.  The goal is to reach Colombians nationwide and to develop training and opportunities to share information….

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20 May 2015 NLRB Continues Assault On Employer Arbitration Agreements

On Monday, May 18, an administrative law judge (ALJ) for the National Labor Relations Board held a company violated the National Labor Relations Act by creating an arbitration program that effectively precluded employees from bringing class action lawsuits against the employer. Interestingly, the arbitration agreement at issue was silent on whether employees “waived” their ability to bring class action lawsuits against the company – unlike other agreements found unlawful by the Board that contained express…

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21 Apr 2015 Unions Get Free Pass From The NLRB When It Comes To Facebook Postings?

Anyone who follows this labor blog (or even remotely monitors labor relations issues) knows employers have been getting hammered by the NLRB in recent years for disciplining employees for making inappropriate comments on Facebook (as well as maintaining policies meant to deter such conduct). So what happens if a union allows illegal content to be posted on its Facebook page? Does it face the same level of scrutiny that an employer would? Unfortunately, it appears…

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24 Mar 2015 NLRB Scrutiny Of Employer Handbook Policies Continues With ALJ Ruling Against T-Mobile

Last week, an administrative law judge (ALJ) for the NLRB continued the Board’s trend of invalidating employer handbook policies. In the case at issue, the ALJ specifically found that T-Mobile maintained several policies in its handbook that “chilled” potential union activity, including a statement that provided, “This Handbook is a confidential and proprietary Company document, and must not be disclosed to or used by any third party without the prior written consent of the Company.”…

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24 Feb 2015 County Right-to-Work Laws In Kentucky Already Yielding Increased Job Growth

  As previously reported on this blog, several counties in Kentucky recently passed their own Right-to-Work laws that prohibit companies and unions within their borders from requiring union dues as a condition of employment. In just a few short months, one of those counties, who previously was losing out on opportunities to attract more jobs, already seems to be seeing benefits from its new law in the form of job creation. As the article below…

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27 Jan 2015 U.S. Union Numbers Continue Their Decline – Reach 100 Year Low

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its annual report on unionization data in the United States, and the numbers continue to be on the decline for unions as a whole. Membership in unions nationally dropped from 11.3 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2014. Other interesting data points in the report include:   Public-sector workers had a union membership rate of 35.7 percent, more than five times higher than that of private-sector…

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26 Jan 2015 A New Frontier for Right-to-Work Laws?

Since December of last year, five different counties in Kentucky have passed “right-to-work laws” making it illegal for employers within their borders to require union membership as a condition of employment. While 24 states have passed such laws to date, this appears to be the first time efforts by smaller units of “state government” (i.e., counties) have been undertaken on this front. While the NLRA allows “states” to pass and implement right-to-work laws, it is…

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03 Nov 2014 NLRB Continues To Invalidate Class Action Waivers In Mandatory Arbitration Programs

While federal courts around the country – including the U.S. Supreme Court – continue to generally uphold “class action waivers” in mandatory arbitration programs, the NLRB continues to go the other way and find that such provisions violate the NLRA. Employers who have arbitration programs that require employees to have claims against companies heard in front of arbitrators rather than courts often include “class action waivers” in their programs. The waivers prohibit employees from forming…

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