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31 Jul 2015 NLRB: Filing an FLSA Collective Action is Protected Concerted Activity

The NLRB determined this week that an individual who filed a collective action FLSA claim in federal court was engaged in protected concerted activity – even if no other employees asked him to do it.   NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Member Lauren McFerran agreed in the case of 200 E. 81st Rest. Corp., 362 N.L.R.B. No. 152 (7/29/15), that the individual employee’s action was protected concerted activity and that the employer’s post-filing firing…

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31 Jul 2015 Michigan Supreme Court Throws Out Public Employee Agency Shop Fees

In a 4-3 opinion released this week, the Michigan Supreme Court invalidated a State Civil Service Commission rule which allowed for public sector collective bargaining agreements to require collection of a mandatory service fee, also known as an “agency shop fee,” from union-eligible employees who opted out of union membership.  A copy of the opinion can be found here.   In sum, the majority found the imposition of the agency shop fee (even though paid…

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21 Jul 2015 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, JULY 6 – 10, 2015

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of July 6 – 10, 2015, is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions SBM Management Services  (05-CA-129128 and 05-RC-126500; 362 NLRB No. 144)  Elkton, VA, July 8, 2015. The Board affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s findings that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1) and engaged in objectionable conduct by distributing bonuses to 11 employees in a bargaining unit of approximately 35 employees during the critical period.  The Board…

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16 Jul 2015 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, JUNE 29 – July 2, 2015

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of June 29 – July 2, 2015, is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   East Market Restaurant, Inc.  (02-CA-120982, et al., 362 NLRB No. 143)  New York, NY, June 30, 2015. The Board granted the General Counsel’s motion for default judgment based on the Respondent’s withdrawal of its answer to the complaint.  Accordingly, the Board found that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(4), (3), and (1) by…

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16 Jul 2015 No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Teamsters Sue Airline…FOR PAYING OUT EMPLOYEE BONUSES!

In an unusual move last week, the Teamsters union sued a regional airline in Indianapolis because the company, without bargaining, allegedly paid out bonuses to the pilots the union represents, and also allegedly started offering higher pay rates than what was contained in the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. Technically, employers must bargain any changes to terms and conditions of union employees’ employment – whether favorable or unfavorable. As a practical matter, however, most unions do…

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14 Jul 2015 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, JUNE 22 – 26, 2015

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of June 22 – 26, 2015, is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions King’s Fire Protection, Inc. and its alter ego Warrior Sprinkler, LLC  (05-CA-036094 and 05-CA-036312; 362 NLRB No. 129)  Mechanicsburg, PA, June 23, 2015.   In view of the Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550 (2014), the Board considered de novo the Administrative Law Judge’s decision and order.  For the…

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13 Jul 2015 Common Sense Sometimes Matters

With that deft opening to its opinion, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last week overturned yet another controversial decision of the National Labor Relations Board which prohibited AT&T Connecticut from barring its technicians from wearing t-shirts into customer homes that portrayed themselves as prisoners of their employer.   The company had banned its employees who go into customer homes or otherwise interact with the public from wearing t-shirts that said “Inmate” on the front…

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13 Jul 2015 Fees For Union Services Still Prohibited In “Right-to-Work States”… At Least For Now

As previously reported on the blog, the NLRB was planning on revisiting its precedent that makes it illegal for unions to charge “fees” to non-dues paying members in right-to-work states for processing grievances and other “services” the unions may provide. Unions often refer to these as “fair share” fees. The issue was before the board in the case United Steel, Paper and Forestry  Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Local 1192…

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09 Jul 2015 Is The Supreme Court Primed to Create “Right-to-Work” for Public Employees Nationwide?

State Right-to-Work laws generally allow any employee to opt out of paying union dues completely. As we have previously covered, such laws, which traditionally have been popular in the South, more recently have been adopted by the state legislatures in “rust belt” states traditionally viewed as bastions of organized labor such as Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In some jurisdictions, even local municipalities have taken to passing such measures, something the NLRB is likely to challenge….

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09 Jul 2015 PROMISE OF CONFIDENTIALITY – NOT SO FAST New NLRB Witness Statement Confidentiality Rule Confirmed and Now in Effect

In December 2012, the NLRB reversed the 1978 ruling of the Board in Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 237 NLRB 982 (1978), where the full Board (without dissent) held that employee witness statements received by employers were exempt from disclosure when requested by a union. See Piedmont Gardens, 359 NLRB No. 46 (2012). The 2014 Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning invalidated that 2012 decision along with more than 700 other reported and unreported decisions of…

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