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20 Nov 2018 Right-to-Work Law Gets Stamp of Approval From Kentucky Supreme Court

With a tight 4-3 split last week, the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the state’s right-to-work law in a lawsuit that called into question the legislation’s constitutionality.   Kentucky became the 27th right-to-work state in early 2017 when it passed the aptly named “2017 Right to Work Act.” The legislation outlaws “union security” provisions in collective bargaining agreements. These provisions mandate that workers’ pay union dues as a condition of employment. The lawsuit, Zuckerman v. Bevin, was…

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19 Oct 2018 Reeling from Janus, Public Unions Haled Into Court On Past Fees

Public unions are fending off lawsuits seeking to recover millions in fees that may have been collected unlawfully, on the heels of Janus v. AFSCME—the U.S. Supreme Court case decided in June that prohibited public unions from requiring nonmembers to pay fees for nonpolitical expenses.   The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the group that spearheaded the attack on public union fees in Janus, has filed at least five class action lawsuits across…

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30 Aug 2018 Polite President or Political Deal? Trump Renominates Pro-Union Mark Gaston Pearce To NLRB

This week, President Donald Trump renominated former chairman and member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Mark Gaston Pearce to a third term. Pearce, who served as chairman of the NLRB from 2011 to the change in administrations in January 2017, is a former union lawyer appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2010. Trump, who appointed two pro-management board members within the last year in Marvin Kaplan and Bill Emanuel, may have been…

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08 Aug 2018 Dinged For Doing The Right Thing: NLRB Says Employer Must Produce Names Of Witnesses In Harassment Investigation

The situation is a common one. An employer conducts an investigation into allegations that an employee sexually harassed another employee. The employer interviews a number of witnesses, including the alleged victim and harasser, and a disciplinary decision is made. In some workplaces, the hard work is over once the investigation is complete, but with a union, the hard work is yet to come.   Those are the basic facts of American Medical Response West, a…

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27 Jun 2018 Janus Decided: Supreme Court Invalidates Mandatory Public Union Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court waited until the last day of its term to release the much-anticipated decision over mandatory public union fees in Janus v. AFSCME. In a 5-4 decision along party lines, the court ruled that public unions cannot force non-members to pay dues, giving every public sector employee in the United States right-to-work protections. The opinion’s author, Justice Samuel Alito, held that “employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken…

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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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