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06 Nov 2013 Noel Canning Argument Set for Jan. 13, 2014

The oral argument on the constitutionality of President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13, 2014. The Court this week scheduled the argument date for the case for January. The Court will consider the January 25 decision of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that declared the President’s recess appointments to the Board of Richard Griffin, Sharon Block and Terence Flynn to be…

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06 Nov 2013 Seventh Circuit Rules Salary Payments Violate the Labor Management Relations Act

In a significant ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that Titan Tire Corporation is not obligated to pay the full-time salaries of the president and benefit representative for the union representing employees at the company’s Illinois facility. According to the Court, the individuals at issue earn their current salaries because of their service to the Union. As such, direct salary payments to the president and benefit representative amounts…

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01 Nov 2013 Unions Remain Hesitant to Embrace Obamacare

With all the talk about the Affordable Care Act this week, there have been surprisingly few mentions of Big Labor. In fact, as Politico reported earlier in the week, President Obama’s labor allies have been mostly silent publicly on the issue and have generally been unwilling to help the Administration with the rollout and enrollment efforts. As we reported a few months ago, many unions have been critical of the Affordable Care Act’s impact on…

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31 Oct 2013 Griffin Confirmed as new NLRB GC

Organized Labor officially has full control of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The nomination of the former General Counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers – Richard Griffin – was confirmed Tuesday by the Senate on a 55-44 vote. This marks the first time in three years that a General Counsel has been confirmed by the Senate and when Griffin is sworn in, it will be the first time in 10 years that there…

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25 Oct 2013 Recall! Car Dealer’s Arbitration Policy Struck down by ALJ

Under the Board’s 2012 decision in D.R. Horton, an ALJ struck down a California car dealer’s arbitration policy. The ALJ held that although the car dealer’s mandatory arbitration policy did not contain an explicit class waiver, it uses language that could be construed by employees as only permitting individual arbitration actions. The ALJ’s decision seems to be another in a line of decisions where the Board (and its ALJs) look past the language of the…

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25 Oct 2013 Michigan’s Right to Work Law Gets Personal – Union Intimidation and Threats Alleged

Last month we blogged about how the Michigan Education Association (MEA), the union that represents the vast majority of Michigan’s teachers, only had one percent of teachers seeking to revoke dues payments under Michigan’s Right to Work Law.  Well, now we may know part of the reason why. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation has filed unfair labor practices with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) on behalf of seven teachers who say they were intimidated and bullied…

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24 Oct 2013 Unlawful to Condition Bargaining on the Result in Noel Canning

Can you condition bargaining with a Union on an agreement that the deal is off if the Supreme Court affirms the Noel Canning decision? An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the NLRB this week said absolutely not. In Professional Transportation Inc., #12-CA-101034, Administrative Law Judge William Nelson Cates held that the company violated its duty under the NLRA to bargain in good faith when it insisted on conditional bargaining with the Teamsters. The union filed…

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23 Oct 2013 NLRB Back in Business, Griffin’s Nomination Before the Senate

It’s hard to be as lyrical as my partner Keith Brodie has been about the NLRB. The shutdown drove him to fitful bouts of “poetry” – if you can call it that. But this week, BT Labor Relations is no longer poetic, but rather back to the nuts and bolts as the NLRB grinds back to business. The basics are set out at the Board’s website at www.NLRB.gov on how filing deadlines will be handled…

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22 Oct 2013 A Weekly Summary of NLRB Decisions for Sept. 23-27 and Sept. 30-Oct. 4

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the weeks of Sept. 23 – 27, 2013 and Sept. 30 – Oct. 4, 2013 are now available on the NLRB’s website. The summaries can be accessed by clicking the links below.  Week of Sept. 23-27  Week of Sept. 30-Oct. 4  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…

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17 Oct 2013 NLRB Opens – Here We Go Again – Haiku

With the end of the government shutdown last night, the NLRB is once again open for business. Following up on our previous poetry post, we felt the occasion deserved another haiku: Today you are open Our mail box: ready, set, go Starting up, oh no! 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…

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