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07 Jun 2018 Teamsters On The Hook For Full Back Pay, Says NLRB

The National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of employees with respect to both employers and labor organizations (i.e., unions). A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding the Teamsters is another reminder that unions – just like employers – can be held liable for damages stemming from labor law violations.   At issue in the case was the Teamsters’ unlawful operation of an exclusive hiring hall. Specifically, it was found that…

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06 Jun 2018 Fireworks! NLRB Chairman Fires Back At Senators, Confirms Agency Will Address Joint-Employer Issue Through Rulemaking

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman John Ring issued a letter to several U.S. Senators on Tuesday, June 5 addressing concerns they previously raised with the head of the labor board regarding potential rulemaking on the standard the agency uses for evaluating joint-employment. Specifically, Ring vehemently rejected any contention that the board was considering rulemaking to somehow circumvent ethical restraints; pronounced the NLRB officially is going forward with rulemaking to address the agency’s standard for…

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04 Jun 2018 Fractured Workforce: Union Scores “Micro-Unit” Election Win At Boeing

Employers breathed a collective sigh of relief at the end of last year when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it had overruled the agency’s infamous 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision that made it easier for unions to form “micro-units” (i.e., organize smaller segments of workforces at company sites).   For those unfamiliar with micro-units, when filing an election petition with the NLRB, a union must identify a legally appropriate group of employees (i.e.,…

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30 May 2018 Senators Express Concern Over Labor Board’s Planned Rulemaking

Several U.S. Senators recently sent a letter to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman John Ring expressing concern over the agency’s planned rulemaking with respect to the standard the board uses for evaluating “joint employment,” according to a new report from Bloomberg BNA. Specifically, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) stated in their letter that the potential rulemaking may be an attempt to “evade the ethical restrictions” pertaining to NLRB…

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22 May 2018 Loose Lips Don’t Sink Ships: NLRB Member Cleared By Agency Inspector General

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Inspector General recently began an investigation into NLRB Member Pearce related to comments he made at a conference regarding a pending matter. The matter he commented on was the Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors case that came down last year from the Trump board on joint-employer status but later was overturned due to an alleged conflict of interest by a presiding member.   According to a prior report from Bloomberg BNA:…

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21 May 2018 Finality at Last: Supreme Court Overrules NLRB’s Controversial Policy Against Employee Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

The U.S. Supreme Court has officially put the kibosh on the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) policy of declaring as unlawful employee-signed arbitration agreements that include class action waivers. In its 5-4 decision on May 21, the court held that the Arbitration Act’s strong policy that favors arbitration requires the enforcement of valid arbitration agreements. This puts an end to a six-year period of uncertainty regarding the legality of employee class action waivers that started…

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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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