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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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23 Jun 2017 Negotiating Tips: The Art of the Ratification Bonus

  Every negotiation, especially complex negotiations, requires careful planning and, once things get underway, creative ideas and tools to bring the deal to completion. In the collective bargaining context, one often overlooked tool available to companies that can help “grease the skids” is the ratification bonus (aka “signing bonus”). There are two critical components to an effective ratification bonus: 1) structuring it in a way that truly incentivizes a union to accept the deal you…

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23 Jun 2017 Take a Screen Shot of This: Supervisor Unlawfully Interrogated Employee Through Text, NLRB Says

  Texting has become one of the most common ways  people communicate. Despite its prevalence, however, texting can raise serious concerns for employers, particularly when such communication takes place between a supervisor and employee in the context of a union election.  A recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case makes that point clear. In RHCG Safety Corp and Construction & General Building Laborers, Local 79, the Board held that a coercive text message from a…

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22 Jun 2017 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of June 5 – 9

  The Summary of NLRB Decisions for the week of  June 5 – 9, 2017 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Perkins Management Services Company  (13-CA-173696; 365 NLRB No. 90)  Charlotte, IL, June 5, 2017.   The Board granted the General Counsel’s Motion for Default Judgment pursuant to the noncompliance provisions of an informal settlement agreement.  The Board found that the Respondent failed to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement, and…

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21 Jun 2017 Untangling the Web? Senator Introduces Bill to Reverse Obama-Era Ambush Union Election Rules

  During President Obama’s two terms in office, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a slew of game-changing decisions and rules affecting labor-management relations in the U.S. Perhaps none more so than the “ambush election rules” that took effect in April 2015. Those rules dramatically shortened the time an employer has to campaign against a union prior to an election in its workplace, among other things, and they continue to make headlines.   On…

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20 Jun 2017 SCOTUS Declines to Weigh in on Micro-Units, But There Still is Hope

  On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal filed by Macy’s, Inc., regarding a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that imposed a micro bargaining unit within one of the company’s department stores. Specifically, the NLRB held that a union could seek to represent only the fragrance and cosmetic workers on two floors of the store.   In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit…

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20 Jun 2017 Public Union Forced “Agency Fees” on the Chopping Block Again

  The issue of forcing unionized public employees to pay union “agency fees” is teed-up for the Supreme Court once again. Mark Janus, an employee of the state government of Illinois who is represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees appealed a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week that upheld 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent holding that forcing public employees represented by unions to pay…

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19 Jun 2017 Fahrenheit 180: DOJ Reverses Course, Abandons NLRB at Supreme Court in Class Action Fight

  The heat is turning up at the U.S. Supreme Court. Arguments to the Court regarding whether class action waivers should be permitted in the employment context recently just kicked off, and a major unexpected development already has emerged. On June 16, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did a 180 and filed a brief in support of three companies who are opposing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before the Court. The DOJ previously supported…

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16 Jun 2017 Retirees Proceed to Arbitration Over Slashed Benefits

  Retiree benefits are a big issue for many employers – from pure economic cost to administrative burdens. Accordingly, some companies have moved to limit or cut such benefits entirely over the years. Of course, when doing so, companies need to navigate various legal issues, including under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, to the extent a union is in the picture, the National Labor Relations Act and/or Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)….

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15 Jun 2017 UBER Arbitration Pact Tossed

  The assault on company-employee arbitration pacts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues. On June 13, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled an Uber Technologies arbitration agreement was unlawful. Uber required its software engineers to sign an agreement that compelled arbitration of claims against the company.   Specifically, the ALJ held that the language in the agreement was “ambiguous” as to employees’ rights to file charges with the NLRB or otherwise access…

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15 Jun 2017 ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!’ Class Action Waiver Battle Kicks Off At Supreme Court

  The class action waiver battle between employers and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been brewing for years. It’s finally coming to a head, as the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve the dispute earlier this year and a group of employers just filed their opening briefs in the matter.   Class action waivers are a tool utilized by companies to blunt costly and time-intensive class or collective claims brought by a large…

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