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13 Aug 2014 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, August 4 – 8, 2014

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of August 4-8, 2014, is now available on the NLRB’s website. Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively to labor and employment law. He is a practitioner and counselor to his clients on labor matters including collective bargaining, union organizing, NLRB unfair labor practice charge defense, and labor strategies for mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations.More…

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13 Aug 2014 1 Is NOT The Loneliest Number…At Least At The NLRB

  Sticking to its recent trend of overturning employer-friendly precedent, the NLRB issued a ruling on Monday of this week that greatly expands the definition of “protected activity” under the NLRA. Historically, in order for conduct/activity to be protected under the NLRA, an employee had to show that he or she was engaging in “concerted” activity (i.e., “group action”) for “mutual aid and protection” of others rather than solely for the benefit of him or…

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07 Aug 2014 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, JULY 28 – August 1, 2014

  The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of July 28-August 1, 2014, is now available on the NLRB’s website.     Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively to labor and employment law. He is a practitioner and counselor to his clients on labor matters including collective bargaining, union organizing, NLRB unfair labor practice charge defense, and labor strategies for…

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06 Aug 2014 NLRB applies Specialty Healthcare “micro-union” standards to retail industry with mixed results

  The NLRB recently issued a pair of decisions applying its controversial test for appropriate bargaining units set out in Specialty Healthcare, 357 NLRB No. 83 (2011). Specialty Healthcare, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit last year, has been criticized by many as allowing the formation of “micro-units” within facilities instead of the traditional “wall-to-wall” units.   The Board did little to assuage those critics with its decisions in Macy’s, 361 NLRB No. 4…

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05 Aug 2014 NLRB Shoots Down Another Confidentiality Rule

  Much to the chagrin of employers, the NLRB continues to parse employer policies and rules. In its July 31, 2014 decision, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, 361 NLRB No. 8, the NLRB found that the employer’s “confidentiality and data protection” rules violated employees’ Section 7 rights. The rule in question stated:   “Keep customer and employee information secure.  Information must be used fairly, lawfully and only for the purpose for which it was obtained.”…

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04 Aug 2014 NLRB Ratifies All Administrative Actions in Wake of Noel Canning Decision

The NLRB announced today that on July 18, 2014, it unanimously ratified all administrative, personnel and procurement matters taken by the Board from January 4, 2012, to August 5, 2013. That covers the time period when the Board did not have a lawful quorum per the United States Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning. This decision covers only actions such as the appointment of certain Regional Directors, Administrative Law Judges and restructurings of…

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01 Aug 2014 Obama’s New Executive Order Requires Contractors to Disclose Labor Violations

  On Thursday, President Obama signed the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order” which mandates that federal contractors disclose recent labor violations.  More specifically, any company that is attempting to obtain a federal contract for more than $500,000 must first disclose all of its labor law violations (state and federal) for the previous three years. “Labor violations” is a widely cast net which includes violations of rules regarding civil rights, wage and hour, collective…

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31 Jul 2014 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, July 21-25, 2014

  The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of July 21-25, 2014, is now available on the NLRB’s website.       Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively to labor and employment law. He is a practitioner and counselor to his clients on labor matters including collective bargaining, union organizing, NLRB unfair labor practice charge defense, and labor strategies for…

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28 Jul 2014 INDIANA COURT LACKS JURISDICTION OVER EMPLOYEE’S THREAT

When does a threat to blow your supervisor’s head off fall outside the scope of a state court’s jurisdiction? Apparently, when you are employed in Indiana.   The Indiana Court of Appeals recently vacated an injunction entered against an employee under Indiana’s Workforce Violence Restraining Orders Act finding that the employee’s threat against his supervisor actually arose out of a “labor dispute” with his employer.   According to the Court’s opinion, the issue surfaced after…

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25 Jul 2014 Strike Two for Right-to-Work Statute in Indiana

  For the second time in less than a year,  a state-court judge in Indiana has ruled Indiana’s right-to-work statute, which went into effect in 2012 and prohibits compulsory union dues, unlawful.  While a previous state-court ruling against the right-to-work statute, issued last September, was stayed by the deciding judge, Judge Paras of Lake County Circuit Court ruled on July 24, 2014 that the statute was unlawful and that his ruling should take effect immediately. …

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