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09 Aug 2017 Paying the Piper? More Than 30,000 Teamsters to Vote on Pension Cuts

  Multi-employer pension funds around the country continue to face mounting difficulties, as the recession in 2008 accelerated the financial freefall of many of the plans. Things now may be coming to a head: More than 30,000 participants in the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund – one of the country’s many severely underfunded plans – are voting on proposed cuts to their benefits.   The decreases in benefits   are an attempt…

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08 Aug 2017 D.C. Circuit Calls Out NLRB in Ruling on Union Access to Employer Property

  As union membership continues to fall, unions have tried to heighten their levels of organizing activity at employers’ workplaces. Because such activity tends to take place during employee working hours, and can be disruptive to working time, it is no surprise that some employers try to restrict the level of communication between union agents and its employees on its premises.   The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has not always signed off on employers’…

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07 Aug 2017 Third Time is NOT the Charm: Nissan Smokes UAW Again in Union Vote

  More than 3,500 Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, overwhelmingly voted against union representation by the United Auto Workers (UAW) on Aug. 3 and 4. The final vote tally was 2,244 to 1,307.   This follows two prior defeats of the UAW by Nissan in 1989 and 2001, so third time is not the charm. It also is the latest in a long line of losses by the UAW in the South and within foreign…

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03 Aug 2017 “And the Fourth Seat Goes To….” Senate Confirms Nomination of Kaplan to NLRB, Delays Vote on Nomination of Emanuel

    Authored by Steve Hernandez and Minal Khan.   Early on Aug. 2, the Senate approved President Trump’s nomination of Marvin Kaplan to fill a vacant seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Senate approved Kaplan on a close 50-48 vote, which, unsurprisingly, was split along party lines. Kaplan’s confirmation puts the Board closer to attaining what would be the first Republican-led majority in nearly a decade.   Kaplan’s confirmation is welcome…

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31 Jul 2017 ‘Absurd Results’: NLRB Takes ‘Facebook Discipline Cases’ to New Heights (Or New Lows, Depending on Your Point of View)

  In a July 27 opinion that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman Philip Miscimarra characterized as “absurd,” a majority of NLRB members overturned an employee’s discharge for a Facebook post that encouraged a former coworker to sue the company. The case was filed against Butler Medical Transport, LLC, by former employees challenging terminations made pursuant to the company’s social media policy.   The social media policy at issue provided, “I will refrain from using social…

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28 Jul 2017 WARNING: No Solicitation

  Few things are more painful for a company to go through than a union election. One of those things is when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) orders a “re-run” election due to alleged misconduct by the employer (i.e., the company has to go through the entire contentious, cumbersome, and costly process again).   Various types of misconduct by companies can give rise to a re-run election. One such category is “solicitation of grievances,”…

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26 Jul 2017 Woo-hoo! Federal Court Overrules NLRB, Says Companies Can Require Employees to Promote Positivity

  The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) attack on personnel policies has been well-chronicled over the years. In May 2016, however, the NLRB’s view of handbook policies arguably peaked when it struck down numerous policies in a T-Mobile handbook, including one that generally asked employees to be professional and maintain a “positive work environment.” In that case, the NLRB explained its view by stating: “[w]e find that employees would reasonably construe the rule to restrict…

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24 Jul 2017 Closing Time: NLRB Considers Shuttering Even More Offices

On July 20, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced it is considering closing two more offices: its office in Anchorage, Alaska, and its office in Little Rock, Arkansas. The public is invited to submit comments on the potential closings by Aug. 25.   The Anchorage office is part of Region 19 out of Seattle and the Little Rock office falls under Region 15 out of New Orleans. The announcement follows a similar one about…

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21 Jul 2017 NLRB Inches Closer to Having Full Panel

  For some time now, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been operating with only three members, which is two short of the full five-member panel, but on July 19 there was some progress made toward reaching a full complement.  As described in more detail in this blog here and here, long-time management labor attorney William Emanuel and veteran government legal advisor Marvin Kaplan have been nominated by the Trump administration.   In a…

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21 Jul 2017 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of July 10 – 14

  Summarized Board Decisions   Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc.  (06-RC-152861; 365 NLRB No. 107)  Mechanicsburg, PA, July 11, 2017.   On review, the Board (Members Pearce and McFerran; Chairman Miscimarra, dissenting) affirmed the Regional Director’s finding that the petitioned-for lacrosse officials, who officiate in certain geographic districts of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), are employees covered under Section 2(3), rather than independent contractors.  Applying the Board’s analysis in FedEx Home Delivery, 361 NLRB…

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