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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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02 Oct 2017 D.R. Horton Reaches New Heights – U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments

  On Oct. 2, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a consolidated trio of cases all addressing whether class action waivers in individual arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).   In D.R. Horton, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held such class action waivers violated the NLRA. Appeals followed to various federal circuit courts, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Eight and Second Circuits striking down the…

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27 Sep 2017 High Court to Resolve Whether Class Action Waivers Violate NLRA

  On Oct. 2, the U.S. Supreme Court will resume its fall session and tackle, among other issues, whether class action waivers in arbitration agreements are valid and enforceable under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The court will consider a consolidated set of cases emerging from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits, which have taken conflicting views on this question. The court’s resolution of this…

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26 Sep 2017 NLRB’s New Member Confirmed, Fits the Bill for Employers

  On Sept. 25, the U.S. Senate voted 49-44 to confirm the NLRB’s newest member, William Emanuel, who was appointed by President Trump. Emanuel’s nomination was voted out of Committee on the same day as Marvin Kaplan, who was confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 2.  Emanuel, a management labor lawyer with more than 40 years of experience, brings the Board to its full complement of five validly-appointed members for the first time in more…

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21 Sep 2017 President Trump Taps New England Labor Lawyer for NLRB’s General Counsel Post

  Late on Sept. 15, the White House formally announced that President Trump will, in fact, nominate Peter B. Robb, a management-side labor lawyer from Vermont, to be the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) general counsel.   If confirmed, Robb will replace the NLRB’s current pro-union general counsel, Richard Griffin, in November. While Robb has had a lengthy career as a labor lawyer, he may be best known for being lead counsel for the Federal…

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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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15 Sep 2017 Follow the Money: Union Organizers Set Their Sights on Silicon Valley, Tech Companies

  With their numbers on a continued decline, private sector American unions are on the search for new members. According to a recent Bloomberg article, labor organizers are setting their sights on the booming tech market and Silicon Valley in an attempt to grow their ranks. The article details how in recent years various unions, such as UNITE HERE and the Teamsters, have prevailed in organizing more than 5,000 workers on various tech giants’ campuses….

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13 Sep 2017 Iowa Law Targeting Public Sector Unions Going into Effect

  Iowa recently passed a law that significantly curtails the powers of its public sector unions. Specifically, the law drastically limits the subjects over which those unions can bargain, primarily to wages. Further, before entering into any collective bargaining negotiation, each local public union must hold and prevail in a “recertification election.” A majority of the covered employees must vote to assent to continued union representation.   The law became effective in February, but the…

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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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