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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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21 Nov 2017 Time Crunch: NLRB Report Confirms Union Elections Remain ‘Quick’ Under New Rules

  A recently released report from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirms that the agency’s “quickie election” rules, that went into effect in April 2015, have significantly truncated the time employers have to conduct union campaigns. Under the old rules, from April 14, 2014, through Jan. 12, 2015, the median time from a union petition being filed to election was 38 days. For fiscal year 2017, the median time from petition to election was…

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21 Nov 2017 DOL Head Slams NLRB’s Vague Test for Joint Employment

  According to a recent report by Bloomberg BNA, Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Alexander Acosta expressed dissatisfaction for the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) joint-employment test during remarks to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers’ Convention. Specifically, while discussing his view of the DOL’s test for joint employment, he brought up and criticized the NLRB’s approach to the issue. He described the NLRB’s rule as being too vague and potentially infringing on the “freedom to…

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14 Nov 2017 NLRB Protected Concerted Activity or Harassment – Will Employers Finally Get Clarity?

  Yesterday, it was announced the NLRB and EEOC will issue a guidance in an effort to help employers better understand overlapping obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Title VII. The guidance no doubt is the result of a longstanding tension between an employee’s right to openly communicate about workplace issues (protected concerted activity) and an employers’ obligation under Title VII to prevent workplace harassment and bias, and be proactive about doing…

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09 Nov 2017 Game Changer? New NLRB General Counsel Confirmed By Senate

  The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) makeover continues. On Nov. 8, Peter Robb became the board’s new general counsel when he was confirmed by the Senate. Robb’s addition to the NLRB is potentially great news for employers, as he likely brings a more business-friendly approach than his predecessor Richard Griffin. With Griffin at the helm, the NLRB significantly departed from long-established precedent favoring employers, such as its test for finding “joint employment.”   The…

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08 Nov 2017 Action! House Passes Legislation to Stave Off Broadening Definition of Joint Employment

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took another step forward on Nov. 8. The House of Representatives passed legislation that would redefine “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to only cover instances when two or more companies have direct control (as opposed to merely indirect or potential control) over a group of workers. In other words, if ultimately signed into law, the bill would…

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02 Nov 2017 Union Improperly Used Strikes and Grievances to Obtain Disputed Work, Says Appeals Court

  In May 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that an International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) local unlawfully used strikes and grievances in an effort to obtain certain work on construction sites that had been given to members of another union.  That decision was challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld the NLRB’s ruling on Oct. 31.   While the NLRB allows a union to utilize…

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18 Oct 2017 What’s Your Preference? NLRB Adopts Federal Court’s Ruling Permitting Hospital’s Nonunion Hiring Preference Policy

  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently was forced to accept a First Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling earlier this year that a hospital’s hiring preference policy applicable to its nonunion employees was lawful. The board originally had ruled the policy violated the National Labor Relations Act.   The hospital system at issue had both union and nonunion sites. At a union site, there was a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that contained a provision giving…

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13 Oct 2017 Go Figure – Production and Maintenance Employees Belong in the Same Bargaining Unit

  In its K&N Engineering decision issued Oct. 12, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a regional director misapplied its Specialty Healthcare standard. The International Association of Machinists (IAM) had filed a petition to represent K&N Engineering’s production and janitorial employees, but not its maintenance employees, the latter of which are traditionally perceived to likely be “no” voters. The regional director applied Specialty Healthcare and ruled that the employer had not met its…

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06 Oct 2017 Will Congress Act to Stave Off the Broadening Definition of Joint Employment?

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took a step forward on Oct. 4. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed legislation that would redefine “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to only cover instances when two or more companies have direct control (as opposed to merely indirect or potential control) over a group of workers. In other words, if ultimately signed into…

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04 Oct 2017 NLRB Dodges Massive Budget Cuts, But Some Predict Changes Still on the Horizon

  A recent Republican attempt to cut the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) budget failed, but some are speculating that similar future appropriations efforts may prevail and, at a minimum, the recent board appointments by President Trump likely will result in changes at the agency.   The appropriations bill at issue was introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), and it sought to slash the NLRB’s discretionary spending budget by nearly half. In support of his…

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