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18 May 2018 Employer Handbook Policies Still in the Crosshairs: NLRB Judge Strikes Down Employer’s Moonlighting Policy

In case you thought the NLRB’s December decision in Boeing Co. meant the end of the board’s uber-zealous scrutiny of employer handbook policies – think again. In Boeing Co. the board articulated an apparently less exacting standard for reviewing whether employer policies violate the act, vowing to balance employer justifications for such policies against the alleged imposition on the rights of employees from the maintenance of the policies. However, a recent decision applying the Boeing…

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17 May 2018 One Way Or Another: Trump NLRB Coming at Joint-Employer Standard from New Angle

President Trump’s newly constituted National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made waves at the end of last year when it issued a slew of significant decisions, including one that overturned an Obama NLRB decision that relaxed the standard for finding “joint-employment” status between two or more companies.   Many employers celebrated the overturning of the Obama board joint-employer decision, but that celebration was short lived because the NLRB’s inspector general issued a report earlier this year…

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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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11 May 2018 Board Members Again Raise Prospect of Changing Blocking Charge Rule

Last fall, there were several anecdotes and indications that once President Trump’s National Relations Board was fully constituted, the long-standing “blocking charge” rule as we know it might change.  More recently, the comments from two recent appointees to the Board indicate a real willingness to examine the issue. Although remaining cautiously optimistic, this renewed interest has the attention of employers and employer groups across the country.   The blocking charge rule is not technically a…

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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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07 May 2018 What Not To Wear: Employer Dress Code Policy Ruled Unlawful

Many companies implement policies and/or guidelines regarding acceptable attire in the workplace, but the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) often scrutinizes such policies and believes them to be unlawful to the extent they impair employees’ ability to wear union-affiliated items, absent special circumstances. The board’s rulings in this area apply to both union and non-union employers alike.   The NLRB recently issued a decision in the case Long Beach Memorial Medical Center , in which…

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03 May 2018 UFC Enters NLRB Independent Contractor Cage Match

Yesterday, mixed martial arts fighter, Leslie Smith, filed an unfair labor practice charge against the entity dba Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  Smith is a well-known mixed martial arts fighter in the featherweight class.  Her only loss is to Cris Cyborg, the current UFC featherweight champion who has been recognized by some as the best female mixed martial arts fighter in the world.  Now Smith is coming to blows with UFC over the non-renewal of her…

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02 May 2018 Don’t Pick and Choose: Company’s Inconsistent Rules Enforcement Results in Employee Terminations Being Overturned

Employee discharge decisions often form the basis for disputes – whether they arise in court or before administrative agencies. Such decisions routinely are challenged by unions before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the agency has overturned terminations and reinstated workers in situations even where egregious misconduct was at issue. The board recently issued a decision where it overturned two employee terminations as a result of selective rules enforcement, which demonstrates yet again the…

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01 May 2018 Is It A Union? That is the Question

As we have previously reported, due to declining private sector membership unions have explored new organizing tactics. One “new” union tactic involves the creation and support of so-called “Worker Centers.” These Worker Centers are usually formed as community groups but are often backed by labor organizations, i.e. unions. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been heavily involved in the formation of such community based “centers” as a means to advocate for higher minimum wage and…

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30 Apr 2018 NLRB Expands Unions’ Ability to Acquire Information to Investigate Discrimination Complaints

On April 13, 2018, the NLRB found that an employer was required to provide a union with individual contracts that were not contemplated under the relevant collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in order for the union to review the contracts and investigate complaints of gender discrimination. The principal flutist in the Colorado Symphony Association informed the union that she believed she was being paid less than her male counterparts. At that time, the flutist was in…

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