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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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16 Dec 2013 No Gossiping Rule Violates NLRA

I’m almost afraid to tell you about this decision because I don’t want to gossip, but, we now know, based upon an NLRB ALJ’s decision last week, a broad no gossip policy violates the National Labor Relations Act. Laurus Technical College has a policy that prohibits employees from participating in or instigating “gossip about the company, an employee, or customer.” The policy defines gossip as “an activity that can drain, corrupt, distract and down-shift the…

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11 Dec 2013 NLRB Throws in Towel on Quickie Election Rule Appeal

In a surprising development, the NLRB has dropped its appeal of the D.C. Circuit’s decision invalidating its “Quickie Election Rules.” By those rules, which we’ve blogged about previously, the Board sought to, among other things, shorten the already-brief period of time between the filing of an election petition and the holding of an election. The Board adopted the rules in late 2011 and intended on instituting them in April 2012, but the D.C. Circuit ruled…

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11 Dec 2013 Supreme Court Takes a Pass on <i>Unite HERE v. Mulhall</i>

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Unite Here v. Mulhall, a case it had agreed to hear and, in fact, had held oral argument in just last month. The dismissal leaves in effect an 11th Circuit ruling that held that a so called “neutrality agreement” between a Unite Here local and a Florida racetrack could have violated federal labor law. The dismissal in effect reversed the granting of certiorari and have limited precedential effect….

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09 Dec 2013 Weekly Summary of NLRB Decision – November 25-29, 2013

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a summary of decisions for the week of November 25-29, 2013. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website here, or by clicking on the link below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for November 25-29, 2013. John KoenigJohn T.L. Koenig is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He maintains a…

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04 Dec 2013 Weekly Summary of NLRB Decision – November 18-22, 2013

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a summary of decisions for the week of November 18-22, 2013. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website here, or by clicking on the link below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for November 18-22, 2013. John KoenigJohn T.L. Koenig is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He maintains a…

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03 Dec 2013 Fifth Circuit Issues Landmark DR Horton Decision

In a landmark decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today held that an employer did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by requiring that its employees sign an arbitration agreement prohibiting them from “filing joint, class, or collective claims addressing their wages, hours, or other working conditions … in any forum, arbitral or judicial.” The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) previously held that the provision violated Section 7 of…

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03 Dec 2013 UAW Considering 25 percent Dues Increase

Bernie Woodall of Reuters reports that the UAW is considering hiking member dues 25 percent as the union continues to struggle with a 30 percent decline in membership since 2005. The union’s total finances also fell for the sixth straight year according to the story. The increase would mean dues for the average member would rise from two hours of pay per month to 2.5 hours. A senior UAW official confirmed the increase is being…

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27 Nov 2013 Republicans Introduce “Employee Rights Act” Targeting NLRA

Republicans in Congress continue to introduce legislation aimed at reforming what they see as pro-union provisions in federal labor law. The latest bill is the “Employee Rights Act” introduced on Nov. 14 in the Senate by Senator Orrin Hatch and in the House by Representative Tom Price. The bill would amend the NLRA and LMRA to: 1. require secret ballot elections both for initial union representation and to authorize a strike, 2. require a majority of all employees…

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22 Nov 2013 11th Circuit Jumps Into the Fray and Upholds the NLRB Recess Appointments

The 11th Circuit is now in the mix on the issue of NLRB recess appointments which were brought to the forefront of the labor world by the Noel Canning decision. However, unlike the D.C. Circuit, 3rd Circuit and 4th Circuit, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has broken ranks and upheld the NLRB’s recess appointments. Relying upon its previous 2004 ruling on recess appointment issues – Evans v. Stephens – the 11th Circuit held that the Constitution’s recess…

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22 Nov 2013 Weekly Summary of NLRB Decision – November 12-15 2013

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a summary of decisions for the week of November 12-15, 2013. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website here, or by clicking on the link below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for November 12-15, 2013. Gerald LutkusGerald F. (“Jerry”) Lutkus is a partner in the South Bend office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP where he is…

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