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23 Jun 2014 Labor Lawyers, Constitutional Scholars Await Noel Canning

  As the current Supreme Court sessions winds down, labor lawyers and Constitutional scholars alike await the Court’s decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning. The decision reviewing the D.C. Circuit’s far reaching opinion of January, 2013 striking down Presidential recess appointments is expected be handed down by the end of the term. Our Alert reviewing the decision can be found here.  The Supreme Court’s session could extend until Monday, June 30.  The next day decisions…

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18 Jun 2014 NLRB General Counsel Pushes for Broader Access to Employer E-Mail Systems

  NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin pushed onward this week with his stated agenda of overturning prior NLRB precedent to legitimize employee use of company email systems for union organizing activity as well as other protected concerted activities.   On Monday of this week, the General Counsel filed his brief in the Purple Communications case now pending before the Board. In that brief, Griffin called for the Board to overturn its previous decision in Register-Guard…

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18 Jun 2014 NLRB Again Overturns Discharge Of Employee Who Engaged In A Profanity-Laced Argument With A Manager In Front Of Customers

  This week the NLRB again overturned the discharge of an employee who engaged in a profanity-laced argument with a manager in the presence of customers. At issue in the case was an employee of Starbucks who was a known union supporter during a union campaign. The employee engaged in several acts of egregious misconduct in the span of just several months. The first incident occurred when the employee asked a manager for assistance during…

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17 Jun 2014 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, June 9-13, 2014

    The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of June 9-13, 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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13 Jun 2014 Some Hope for Employers? Limits on Alan Ritchey Discretionary Discipline Bargaining Obligation Applied by NLRB

  In Alan Ritchey, 359 NLRB No. 40, decided in December 2012, the Board held that an employer has an obligation to bargain with a newly certified union over certain discretionary discipline of unit employees when there is no contract or interim grievance procedure in place, before it can issue any such discipline. This decision was novel and highly controversial. The Board did provide some caveats where the pre-imposition bargaining obligation would not apply —…

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11 Jun 2014 Reality vs. “Objectivity” – The NLRB’s Use of Atlantic Steel to Sanction a Coarsening of the Workplace

  During the last decade employers have been made acutely (and often times painfully) aware of the workplace evils of harassment, bullying, workplace violence and other coarse workplace conduct. Efforts to curb such conduct by both federal and state enactments and enforcement have been ramped up. And as such, most employees of today have (rightly) come to expect that such behaviors are not to be tolerated in the workplace. The NLRB, however, seems rather oblivious…

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06 Jun 2014 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, MAY 27-30, 2014

  The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of May 27-30, 2014, is now available on the NLRB’s website.      John KoenigJohn T.L. Koenig is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He maintains a national, full-service practice representing management exclusively in all aspects of labor and employment law. More Posts – Website

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03 Jun 2014 NLRB STRIKES DOWN NON-SOLICITATION POLICY

  Non-solicitation and non-distribution policies are part of “old school” labor law, but on May 30, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board took a fresh look at these policies and struck down a non-solicitation policy contained in the employee handbook of Food Services of America, Inc.  Food Services of America, Inc. and Paul Louis Carrington, 360 NLRB No. 123.   Even though the Board affirmed most of the administrative law judge’s conclusions which dismissed virtually…

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30 May 2014 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, MAY 19-23, 2014

  The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of May 19-23, 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,…

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30 May 2014 DOL’s Proposed Rule Concerning Reporting Use of Labor Consultants Slated to Become Final in December

  On Friday, May 23, the White House released its bi-annual Unified Agenda, including an update on the timing of Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule altering definitions of labor relations consultants for the purpose of required employer reporting.  According to the Unified Agenda, the DOL’s rule is set to become final in December 2014, the same time period when the DOL intends to publish  a notice and comment rulemaking seeking consideration of an updated…

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