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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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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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05 Sep 2017 Second Circuit Affirms NLRB Position on Broad Confidentiality Agreements

  You can’t force employees to sign confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from disclosing “non-public information intended for internal purposes” or that bar them from speaking with any “media source” without the employer‘s permission. The NLRB decided that issue on June 14, 2016, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the NLRB’s decision on Aug. 31.   The employer, Long Island Association for AIDS Care Inc. (LIAAC), is a not-for-profit, non-union…

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25 Aug 2017 Businesses Say ‘Yes’ to Robb as Labor Board’s Top Lawyer

  Peter Robb, a Vermont management-side labor lawyer, is expected to be named general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), pending a background check as reported in various industry publications. Robb would replace outgoing NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin whose term expires Oct. 31.   Robb currently represents businesses in labor disputes at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC and, with the board slated to have a GOP majority for the first time in a…

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22 Aug 2017 NBA Team’s Electronic Display Operators are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says NLRB

  On Aug. 18, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that a group of electronic display operators for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves were employees, not independent contractors. The case came about after the electronic display crew filed a petition to have a union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, represent them. The Timberwolves argued that the representation petition should be dismissed on grounds the workers were independent contractors, as the National Labor Relations…

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16 Aug 2017 Fractured Workforce: Federal Court Approves Micro-Unit Certified by NLRB

  Unfortunately, it appears the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent trend of certifying micro-units is here to stay until a pro-management majority at the agency is confirmed, which may not happen as soon as we once thought. On Aug. 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed an NLRB decision against Rhino Northwest LLC that found a small, discrete segment of that company’s workers could be properly certified as a bargaining unit….

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15 Aug 2017 A Nice Change of Pace: NLRB Upholds Employer’s Confidential Information Policy

  From social media policies to positive workplace environment statements to non-employee access to company property procedures, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has struck down numerous company personnel policies in recent years on grounds they “chill” employees’ ability to engage in protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The board generally cites Section 7 of the NLRA as support for its positions, which protects employees engaging in “concerted activity” for “mutual aid…

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09 Aug 2017 Short-Lived Victory for Employers? NLRB Chairman Reportedly Stepping Down in December

  BNA Bloomberg and Law360 are reporting that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman Philip Miscimarra is stepping down when his current five-year term expires in December rather than seeking reappointment. Miscimarra reportedly is leaving the agency for personal reasons.   Having been the lone pro-management voice on the NLRB for an extended period and consistently being out-voted by his pro-union counterparts, Chairman Miscimarra’s dissents have been colorful and may provide a glimpse as to…

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08 Aug 2017 D.C. Circuit Calls Out NLRB in Ruling on Union Access to Employer Property

  As union membership continues to fall, unions have tried to heighten their levels of organizing activity at employers’ workplaces. Because such activity tends to take place during employee working hours, and can be disruptive to working time, it is no surprise that some employers try to restrict the level of communication between union agents and its employees on its premises.   The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has not always signed off on employers’…

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03 Aug 2017 “And the Fourth Seat Goes To….” Senate Confirms Nomination of Kaplan to NLRB, Delays Vote on Nomination of Emmanuel

    Authored by Steve Hernandez and Minal Khan.   Early on Aug. 2, the Senate approved President Trump’s nomination of Marvin Kaplan to fill a vacant seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Senate approved Kaplan on a close 50-48 vote, which, unsurprisingly, was split along party lines. Kaplan’s confirmation puts the Board closer to attaining what would be the first Republican-led majority in nearly a decade.   Kaplan’s confirmation is welcome…

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