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02 Jul 2013 Under The Radar Case Could Yield Most Significant Labor Law Case of the Last Decade

  Last week the Supreme Court agreed to hear two important cases involving labor law. While Noel Canning has been getting most of the press because of the high profile political drama and all of its separation of power implications, the other case, UNITE HERE, Local 355 v. Mulhall, could end up as the most significant labor law decision the Supreme Court has handed down in a generation.   As most labor relations practitioners know,…

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01 Jul 2013 It’s Not Easy Being Green

The union movement likes to paint itself as being for progressive change. It is one of the ways it picks up allies for its special interest agenda. However, when it doesn’t serve its own ends, it quickly abandons those causes. We saw that last month with news stories about unions complaining about the Affordable Care Act. Now it is the environmental movement that is suffering from the fickle tastes of organized labor. As all San…

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28 Jun 2013 U.S. Congressman Reintroduces “Secret Ballot Protection Act”

On June 13, 2013, in reaction to continued interest in the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA),  which would impose mandatory card check certification for union organizing efforts,  United States Congressman Phil Roe, Chairman of the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee of the House of Representatives, introduced the Secret Ballot Protection Act, H.R. 2346. H.R. 2346 would:  1. Require a secret ballot election before a union can be certified or decertified, eliminating once and for…

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25 Jun 2013 Supreme Court to Review Legality of Union Neutrality Agreement

In addition to agreeing to hear the issue of recess appointments, on June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court granted cert in a case challenging the legality of so called “neutrality agreements.”  UNITE HERE, Local 355 v. Mulhall. Unions use neutrality agreements to get employers to agree not to oppose unionization and not to campaign against a union. UNITE HERE is challenging the ruling of the 11th Circuit that such neutrality agreements could constitute a “thing of value” which cannot be…

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24 Jun 2013 Supreme Court to Hear Recess Appointment Dispute

The United States Supreme Court today agreed to hear the controversy over President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB. The case the Court agreed to hear is NLRB v. Noel Canning. The Court is expected to hear the case in the 2013-2014 term. No additional dates have yet been set. Additional Resources Link to the Supreme Court order: NLRB v. Noel Canning (PDF) The Wall Street Journal: “Supreme Court to Consider Obama Recess Appointments“ Scott…

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21 Jun 2013 Supreme Court’s AmEx Class Action Waiver Decision Spells Trouble for NLRB

The Supreme Court yesterday overturned a Second Circuit decision that invalidated arbitration agreements American Express entered into with merchants. The Court ruled the plaintiffs must arbitrate their claims individually, rather than pursuing them court. This is the latest in a string of recent Supreme Court decisions that have supported arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. While not an employment case, the decision should offer further support to employers who choose to implement arbitration programs that include waiver of…

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17 Jun 2013 Another Loss for the NLRB on Notice Posting Rule

The Fourth Circuit has now joined the D.C. Circuit in striking down the NLRB’s proposed notice posting rules. The Board sought to have all employers post notices in their workplace informing employees of their right to form and join unions, among other things. Our previous coverage of this controversial initiative can be found here. On May 7, 2013, the D.C. Circuit struck down the same rule in a separate case, but did so on employer…

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13 Jun 2013 Think There Is Not A Reason To Stay Focused on Being Union-Free? Think Again

As all of us competing in the marketplace know, the last five to six years have been about preservation and survival. And while there are signs of improvement and recovery in some sectors, no one really thinks this economy is a sure bet yet. While the economy is down, it’s easy to just focus on survival – and ignore other issues that might be just around the corner. Maintaining a union-free status is one such…

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12 Jun 2013 Doubling Down – The NLRB Shuns <i>Noel Canning</i> Implications Again

Since it was decided in January, the D.C. Circuit’s Noel Canning decision has been easy ammunition for employers to shoot at the NLRB in response to any adverse decision. As we previously reported, the NLRB’s response has been to effectively “put their fingers their ears” and refuse to recognize the ruling of the D.C. Circuit as controlling. Most recently, the ability of the NLRB to act was challenged by the Respondent in Ampersand Publishing, LLC, 359…

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11 Jun 2013 ACLU’s Stealth Challenge to Michigan Right to Work…Could Open Meetings Act Lawsuit Sink Controversial Law?

While much of the initial fervor related to Michigan passing right to work legislation has subsided, a lawsuit that could collaterally challenge the law silently proceeds. As we previously reported, a lawsuit was filed under Michigan’s Open Meetings Act to challenge the process used by the Michigan’s Legislature to pass the controversial legislation. In January, the ACLU stepped in to litigate on behalf of the groups challenging the law. Recently, Michigan Radio’s Political Analyst Jack…

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