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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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09 Jan 2018 Union Retirees Win Certification In Class Action Regarding Lifetime Medical Insurance Benefits

  Retiree benefits are a huge issue for many employers – from pure economic cost to administrative burdens. Accordingly, some companies have moved to limit or cut such benefits entirely. Of course, when doing so, companies need to navigate various legal issues, including under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, to the extent a union is in the picture, the National Labor Relations Act and/or Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). A federal court…

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08 Jan 2018 A Hail Mary? Union Fights To Keep NLRB Joint-Employer Case In Federal Court

  On Jan. 4, the Teamsters union filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the infamous Browning-Ferris case requesting that the court reconsider its Dec. 22 order that remanded the case back to the NLRB. The reason? The Teamsters argue that one of the new NLRB members’ law firms was involved in the related Browning-Ferris case. The case was on appeal to the court from the NLRB.  …

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05 Jan 2018 Trump’s NLRB Signals It Will Revisit Board’s Stance On ‘Confidential Severance Agreements’

  On Dec. 27, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an order in which President Trump’s two appointed members – Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel – stated that they want to revisit the board’s stance on confidentiality provisions contained in severance agreements (i.e., provisions that prohibit disclosures related to the terms and sometimes even the existence of the agreement). The two members specifically noted in the order that “they believe that, to the…

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03 Jan 2018 Has Your Company Had an NLRB Charge Filed Against It Recently? If So, Here Are Two BIG Developments You Need to Know

  On Dec. 1, 2017, new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Peter Robb issued a sweeping memo identifying various changes for the way his office may be handling a variety of issues before the board. The memo is jam-packed with many interesting points, but there are two critical ones that may immediately affect unfair labor practice charge investigations and litigation.   The first change deals with the NLRB’s “deferral policy.” For decades, the NLRB…

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29 Dec 2017 NLRB Signals Reversal of Blocking Charge Policy

  Is the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) blocking charge policy in its last days? Perhaps, according to a footnote in its recent decision in ADT Security Services Case 18-RD-206831 (December 20, 2017).   Current NLRB policy allows union elections to be paused if employees or the union file a complaint alleging that the employer committed an unfair labor practice. The current policy also permits halting an election if employees seeking decertification or disbanding of…

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28 Dec 2017 Specialty Healthcare Death Throes Continue

  A week before Christmas employers got an early present when the newly constituted republican majority at the NLRB overruled the “overwhelming community-of-interest” unit configuration union election standard set out in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB No. 83 (2011).  In PCC Structurals, Inc., 365 NLRB no. 160 (December 15, 2017) the NLRB reset the clock and went back to applying its traditional community-of-interest factors when determining an appropriate unit (the proper…

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27 Dec 2017 The Gifts Keep On Comin’: NLRB GC Memo Signals Favorable Change for Employers in Union Elections

  On Dec. 15, the National Labor Relations Board announced in its PCC Structurals, Inc. decision that it had overruled its infamous Specialty Healthcare precedent and eliminated the “overwhelming community of interest” standard for employers opposing micro-units. According to the NLRB’s press release on PCC Structurals: “The Board has now abandoned the ‘overwhelming’ community-of-interest standard. In today’s decision, the Board stated that ‘here are sound policy reasons for returning to the traditional community-of-interest standard that the…

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22 Dec 2017 Trump Elects New NLRB Chair

  In the wake of last week’s sweeping rebuke of a number of Obama-era precedents, President Trump has named National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Marvin E. Kaplan as acting chairman of the board. Kaplan replaces former chairman Philip A. Miscimarra whose term expired on Dec. 16.   The current board includes the following members: Mark Gaston Pearce, an Obama appointee whose term expires Aug. 27, 2018 Lauren McFerran, an Obama appointee whose term expires…

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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 Welcome to the NLRB Labor Law Time Machine, Step Right In…

  Everything that is old is starting to become new again. This past week, President Trump’s new NLRB appointments began to take action to return federal labor law to what it was before the eight years of pro-union rulings of the Obama-era boards.   Monday, Dec. 11   A 3-2 NLRB decision restated a board precedent that allowed administrative law judges to accept settlements over the objections of NLRB general counsel and the charging party,…

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