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18 Feb 2013 New Hampshire Right to Work? Not So Fast

On Feb. 13, 2013, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down the latest right-to-work bill and thwarted yet another attempt to join the latest RTW states (Indiana and Michigan). This is the third time that this type of legislation had been defeated in the previous three years (prior two attempts were vetoed by the former Governor) in New Hampshire. It appears that the RTW in that state is losing momentum. Elsewhere, as previously covered earlier this week…

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14 Feb 2013 If At First You Don’t Succeed: Obama Renominates Recess Appointments

Sharon Block and Richard G. Griffin gained notoriety as two of the three recess appointments to the NLRB back in January, 2012. These appointments drew the ire of Republican legislators because they bypassed the normal Senate confirmation process and became the target of legal challenges as we have covered extensively. This controversy culminated in the D.C. Circuit’s January 25, 2013 decision in Noel Canning v. NLRB which held that the appointments were invalid under the U.S. Constitution. Undeterred,…

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12 Feb 2013 Unions File Suit Challenging Michigan’s Right to Work Law

A group of Michigan labor unions filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s recently enacted Right to Work legislation. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, challenges only the legislation affecting private employers, claiming that it violates the Supremacy Clause of the federal Constitution because private employers are regulated by federal labor law, not state law. The complaint asks for a declaratory judgment finding the Right…

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11 Feb 2013 7th Circuit Decision Underscores Threat of Individual Liability in Withdrawal Liability Cases

The Seventh Circuit in its recent decision in Central States Southeast and Southwest Area Pension Fund v. Messina Products LLC reversed a District Court decision that two individual owners of a defunct trucking company had no personal liability for a $3.1 million in withdrawal liability to the Central States Fund. The District Court had determined that the individual owners were not “trades or businesses” under 29 U.S.C. 1301(b)(1) and therefore could not be liable as the “employer” when…

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01 Feb 2013 Should Obama’s NLRB Appointees Resign?

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander recently opined that President Obama’s recess appointees — Members Griffin and Block — should resign in the wake of the D.C. Circuit’s January 25, 2013 Noel Canning decision: According to the Senator: “As ranking member of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over the NLRB, I am calling on Sharon Block and Richard F. Griffin Jr. to resign immediately. The court’s decision means that none of the 219 decisions in which they have participated…

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31 Jan 2013 Senator Introduces Bill to Overturn NLRB Decisions

Fox News reports that Republican Senator John Barrasso “introduced legislation Wednesday that would freeze or overturn virtually every decision the National Labor Relations Board has made in the past year.”  This comes in the wake of the D.C. Circuit’s January 25, 2013 Noel Canning decision which we covered here. The story notes that the bill faces an uphill battle in the Democrat controlled Senate.  The full story can be found by clicking on the link below….

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25 Jan 2013 D.C. Circuit Holds NLRB Recess Appointments Invalid

In a groundbreaking decision issued this morning, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2012 (appointing Democratic members Richard Griffin and Sharon Block and Republican member Terrance Flynn, who has since resigned) were invalid as recess appointments because the Senate was not in recess.  And because the appointments were not valid, the D.C. Circuit held that the challenged Board order was also…

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23 Jan 2013 New York Times Examines NLRB Social Media Rulings

The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday summarizing the NLRB’s recent focus on employer social media policies. This is a topic we have been following for many months. See our prior posts here. The Times article correctly notes these rulings “apply to virtually all private sector employers” including non-union workplaces. It describes several recent cases and highlights social media policies issued or updated by several large employers, including Wal-Mart, GM and Costco. The New York Times article can be accessed…

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23 Jan 2013 Union Membership Numbers Continue to Decline

As measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of workers who are union members declined in 2012 for the fifth year in a row. The BLS annual report found that 11.3 percent of wage and salary workers were members of a union in 2012, down from 11.8 percent in 2011. The total number of workers belonging to a union also declined, down to 14.4 million from 14.8 million. As reported by the Washington…

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23 Jan 2013 Seventh Circuit Upholds Controversial Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law

The Seventh Circuit on Friday upheld Wisconsin’s controversial Act 10 limiting collective bargaining rights for most of the state’s public employees. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-held Wisconsin legislature had passed the law in February of 2011, despite significant protests by Wisconsin Democrats and union leaders. Union leaders challenged the law in federal court, claiming that it was unconstitutional, and the Western District of Wisconsin overturned some provisions of the law and upheld others…

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