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01 Aug 2018 Moving The Needle: NLRB GC Announces Agency Process Changes

On July 30, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel’s Office issued a memo announcing some potentially significant process changes within the agency. One of the changes involves the establishment of committees within the various NLRB Regions that will be responsible for drafting pre-election decisions. For example, if the parties to a union election dispute the scope of the unit at issue, a designated committee will be responsible for researching the issue and drafting…

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24 Jul 2018 Fiat Chrysler UAW Collective Bargaining Process Under a Microscope

Yesterday another high ranking UAW official pled guilty in the federal government’s ongoing investigation into Fiat Chrysler’s and high-ranking UAW officials’ payoff scandal (see previous posts: Jun 12 | March 23 | Nov 3) Nancy Adams Johnson, a top assistant to UAW Vice President Jewell Norwood, admitted to receiving illegal payments and using funds illegally from Fiat Chrysler. The government’s investigation now has been expanded to include other automakers as well, but currently the UAW…

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23 Jul 2018 Don’t Pull The Tapes: Employer Dinged By NLRB For Surveilling Employee Union Activity On Video Archives

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) puts limits on what employers can do if/when their employees express interest in forming a union in the workplace. Generally, employers cannot threaten employees based on their union activity; interrogate workers about their union activity, sentiments, etc.; make promises to employees to induce them to forgo joining a union; or engage in surveillance (i.e., spying) on workers’ union organizing efforts. To the extent an employer violates the NLRA by…

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17 Jul 2018 Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye: DOL Persuader Rule Nixed

Back in 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations that would have significantly narrowed the scope of the legal advice exemption to the persuader rules. Persuader rules require companies to report certain financial information on monies paid to companies and/or individuals who help “persuade” employees regarding various labor relations issues. The new rule would have required reporting of monies paid for legal services when those services included “indirect persuasion” activity, including advice on what…

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12 Jul 2018 Resolution: Labor Board Announces Initiative To Increase ADR Participation

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) launched a formal alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program in 2005. That program entails the use of mediators who assist parties in board proceedings explore resolution options. According to the NLRB’s website, “For parties who have chosen to participate in the ADR program, mediators have assisted parties in reaching settlements in approximately 60% of the cases.  The Board approved the parties’ settlements in each of those cases.”   The board…

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09 Jul 2018 ‘BIG Little Lies’: Court Upholds Employee Discharge For Dishonesty

A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? That was the philosophy the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appeared to subscribe to last year when it ruled an employer unlawfully discharged an employee for dishonesty because, in the agency’s view, the company had handled terminations for lying inconsistently. That board decision was rendered in Cellco Partnership, 365 NLRB No. 93 (2017).   Fast forward to now. A federal court of appeals reviewed that NLRB order…

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27 Jun 2018 Janus Decided: Supreme Court Invalidates Mandatory Public Union Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court waited until the last day of its term to release the much-anticipated decision over mandatory public union fees in Janus v. AFSCME. In a 5-4 decision along party lines, the court ruled that public unions cannot force non-members to pay dues, giving every public sector employee in the United States right-to-work protections. The opinion’s author, Justice Samuel Alito, held that “employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken…

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27 Jun 2018 Headcount Reduction: NLRB Reportedly To Offer Buyouts In Effort To Trim Staff

Following reports earlier this year regarding potential efforts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to reduce headcount, it appears the agency is heading in that direction. According to a new report from Bloomberg BNA, the agency is poised to start offering “buyouts” and early retirement packages to some staffers in the near future.   According to the report: “The move is likely to continue or accelerate the board’s trend toward a smaller footprint. Congress…

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25 Jun 2018 Happiest Union On Earth? Teamsters Violated Disney Parks Workers’ Labor Law Rights

The Teamsters union has yet again been found by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to have violated the rights of its own members. On June 20, the agency issued an order finding violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by the union.   At issue in the case were employees of Disney amusement parks in Florida who were represented by the Teamsters union. The employees drafted letters, made telephone calls, and even attempted in-person…

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20 Jun 2018 No, Thank You: Boeing Declines Union’s Invitation To Bargain, Setting Up Micro-Unit Appeal

Earlier this month, 180 technicians at a Boeing plant in South Carolina voted to have the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers become their bargaining representative. There are approximately 7,000 employees at the facility, and the union failed on two prior occasions in previous, recent years to have all employees at the site be represented. Not to be deterred, the union then targeted this smaller subgroup (i.e., micro-unit) and now has a foothold at…

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