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10 Jul 2017 Department of Labor Aims to Rescind ‘Persuader Rule’; Comments Due Aug. 11

  Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) submitted a notice of proposed rulemaking intended to rescind what is known as the “persuader rule.” We previously reported that the persuader rule, which was first published in 2016 during the Obama administration, was controversial and had been tied up in litigation for months; at the end of 2016, a federal court stopped it from being enacted. The rule would have required employers to publicly disclose…

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07 Jul 2017 Eighth Circuit Sides With Jimmy John’s and Finds Employee Actions Were Not Protected Activity

  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found on July 3 that employees of a Jimmy John’s franchisee made false and calculated accusations that were intended to hurt the business interest of their employer, rather than to encourage change in workplace policies. The ruling reverses an NLRB decision and an initial verdict by an Eighth Circuit panel.   In 2010, the Jimmy John’s Workers Union, an affiliation of the Industrial Workers of…

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30 Jun 2017 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of June 12 – 16

  Summarized Board Decisions   United States Postal Service  (07-CA-145159 and 07-CA-159684; 365 NLRB No. 92)  Detroit, MI, June 12, 2017.   The Board adopted the Administrative Law Judge’s conclusions that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) by unreasonably delaying furnishing information about light-duty employees’ work restrictions, unreasonably delaying furnishing information used to establish a seniority list, and refusing to furnish information regarding how it compiled another seniority list.  In adopting the judge’s finding…

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29 Jun 2017 An Unlikely Union: Labor Leaders Join Trump In Seeking Changes to NAFTA

  President Trump announced earlier this year that his administration will be seeking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The president heavily criticized the longstanding trade deal during his campaign, so this came as little surprise. American labor unions also have been critical of NAFTA over the years due to perceived negative impact on American jobs and actively lobbied against its passage back in the ‘90s. While organized labor by and large tends…

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29 Jun 2017 Swan Song? NLRB Contemplates Shuttering San Diego Office

  On June 27, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced in a press release that it is contemplating closing the agency’s San Diego office. The San Diego office handles cases and proceedings arising in Southern California and falls under NLRB Region 21 out of Los Angeles.   The general counsel’s office has invited public comments regarding the potential closure to be submitted to the agency via emails to feedback@nlrb.gov by July 31.   It…

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28 Jun 2017 Balance of Power May Be Shifting at the NLRB

  After an extended period of time without its full five-member complement, the NLRB may finally be moving toward capacity. In May, Congressional leaders asked President Trump to fill the long-standing vacancies. The board is currently comprised of just three members — one Republican (Chairman Philip Miscimarra) and two Democrats (members Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerran).   However, President Trump has announced his picks to fill the two open positions with, not surprisingly, two…

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28 Jun 2017 Obamacare Repeal: Will You Have to Bargain With Your Union Over Changes?

  Senate Republicans continue to work on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare). As Politico reported on June 27, “Republicans plan to re-write their health bill over the Fourth of July recess and get a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office before bringing legislation to the floor.” The legislative process will continue to unfold and specifics of what will change are yet to be determined. However, changes to…

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27 Jun 2017 Will Amazon’s Acquisition Impact Labor Relations at Whole Foods?

  The grocery industry has a relatively high unionization rate – especially in this day and age where private sector union membership in general is below 7%. While Whole Foods has been a target of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union for years, the company nevertheless has been able to remain one of the only big supermarket players without a union presence. According to its CEO, it’s been able to do so because…

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23 Jun 2017 Negotiating Tips: The Art of the Ratification Bonus

  Every negotiation, especially complex negotiations, requires careful planning and, once things get underway, creative ideas and tools to bring the deal to completion. In the collective bargaining context, one often overlooked tool available to companies that can help “grease the skids” is the ratification bonus (aka “signing bonus”). There are two critical components to an effective ratification bonus: 1) structuring it in a way that truly incentivizes a union to accept the deal you…

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23 Jun 2017 Take a Screen Shot of This: Supervisor Unlawfully Interrogated Employee Through Text, NLRB Says

  Texting has become one of the most common ways  people communicate. Despite its prevalence, however, texting can raise serious concerns for employers, particularly when such communication takes place between a supervisor and employee in the context of a union election.  A recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case makes that point clear. In RHCG Safety Corp and Construction & General Building Laborers, Local 79, the Board held that a coercive text message from a…

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