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14 May 2018 Different Animal, Same Beast: PCC Structurals Micro-Unit Survives Traditional Community of Interest Standard on Remand

The new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) delivered a win for employers late last year when they reinstated the traditional “community of interest” standard, overruling the Obama-era Specialty Healthcare decision that raised the bar on employers by requiring them to show that other workers had an “overwhelming community of interest” with those in a petitioned-for bargaining unit.   Generally speaking, employers (and historically the NLRB) favor larger wall-to-wall units during a union representation election while…

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10 May 2018 Illegality of Union Resignation Rule Upheld by D.C. Circuit Court

The D.C. Circuit recently upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) finding that a union’s resignation rule violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Under the rule, employees who wanted to resign from the union or opt out of paying dues had to travel to the union hall with a picture ID and a written request. The NLRB held that it was inconvenient for workers to have to travel to the hall to resign and…

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01 Mar 2018 Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Labor Commission can Decertify Public Unions

  Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court dealt a blow to public unions in the state when they held that the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission has the authority to decertify bargaining units that ignore the Commission’s annual recertification election rules.   The litigation stems from Wisconsin’s Act 10, a controversial 2011 law championed by Governor Scott Walker, which curtailed collective bargaining rights for most public workers in the state while weakening public unions financially and making…

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27 Feb 2018 U.S. Supreme Court to Take Up Independent Contractor Arbitration Case

An important case is on the horizon for those involved in the transportation industry. Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of New Prime, Inc., a transportation company that is asking the Court to overrule the First Circuit and find that an independent contractor’s class action claim should be compelled to arbitration.   Here is the scenario. A truck driver signed an independent contractor agreement as part of the company’s apprentice program –…

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21 Dec 2017 NLRB Asks Ninth Circuit to Uphold Purple Communications Decision

  On Dec. 19, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to affirm its ruling in the controversial Purple Communications decision. Purple Communications, you might remember, was a 2014 decision that overturned the Register Guard standard for employee use of company email for nonwork purposes.   The standard under the 2007 Register Guard decision was that employees had no right under the National Labor Relations Act…

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19 Dec 2017 A Final Bow from Miscimarra Lessens Employer Bargaining Obligations

  On the eve of Chairman Philip Miscimarra’s departure, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) remained busy. In Raytheon, the board undid another Obama-era decision that reversed decades of NLRB precedent. This decision overturned a 2016 decision and held that where an employer makes modifications to terms and conditions of employment similar in kind and degree with an established past practice consisting of comparable unilateral modifications, they owe the union no notice or duty to…

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15 Dec 2017 NLRB Delivers Early Holiday Gifts to Employers Reverts on Joint Employment, Issues Favorable Personnel Policies Standard

  Holiday gift giving has started early this year thanks to a busy week by the revamped, employer-friendly National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On Dec. 15, the board handed down two opinions, one overturning a 2004 decision on work rules and handbook policies and the other overruling the infamous Obama-era joint employer standard.   We’ll start with the biggest gift of all: the overturning of Browning-Ferris and the return to a more sensible joint-employer standard….

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04 Dec 2017 General Counsel Memo Signals Brighter Days for Employers

  In a move that will certainly please employers, Peter Robb, the recently confirmed general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a memo last week freezing all Obama-era NLRB decisions that overturned precedent. The memo orders regional directors around the country to seek advice from the Washington, D.C., office on cases that involve board decisions from “the last eight years that overruled precedent and involved one or more dissents.”   The sweeping…

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12 Oct 2017 Trouble in Federal Union Paradise

  While private sector union membership has been declining for decades, down to 6.4 percent in 2016, public sector unions have remained relatively strong. But perhaps not everything is as good as it seems for public sector unions. Following news last week of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on mandatory public union fees, we’re now treated to a salacious story of federal employee union in-fighting.   American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 12,…

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