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22 Jan 2013 Right To Work Challenge Dismissed in Federal Court

Operators Local 150 has been soundly tossed out of federal court in its effort to overturn Indiana’s Right to Work Act. In a decisive 24-page opinion, Judge Philip Simon of the Northern District of Indiana examined and dismissed every challenge to the Act raised by the Operating Engineers. The Union challenged the statute under the Contracts Clause, the Ex Post Facto Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They further challenged the Act as being pre-empted…

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14 Jan 2013 NLRB Now Permits Front Pay in Lieu of Reinstatement in Board Settlements

The NLRB has traditionally refused to include the concept of front pay in lieu of reinstatement in formal Board settlements. As such, if an employer was interested in resolving an NLRB case that involved employee terminations, but not interested in bringing those terminated employees back to work, the only avenue was a non-Board settlement. That may change based on a new guidance memo the Acting General Counsel issued Jan. 9, 2013. Noting that most agreements involving waivers of reinstatement in…

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09 Jan 2013 2013: Will NLRB Have Its Bobby Ewing Moment?

2012 was a tough year for stare decisis when it comes to federal labor law. It seemed as though every other week (and sometimes more often) longstanding NLRB precedent was overturned or ignored. From dues check-off rules to bargaining-unit definitions, decades old rules were swept aside by a Board seemingly determined to tip the balance against employers (and frequently employees) in favor of unions. 2012 was also a year in which the NLRB sought to…

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31 Dec 2012 Our Top 10 Labor Law Events of 2012

The Mayans predicted that the world would end in 2012. They were wrong. However, U.S. employers may well be feeling like life is over as they once knew it after the head-spinning events of 2012 in traditional labor law. And the scary thing is, the NLRB has just gotten started, folks, as it enters 2013 with a three-member majority, all of whom are pro-Union Democratic appointees. Your friends at BTLaborRelations.com have decided to again ring…

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28 Dec 2012 And the Hits Keep On Coming! Board Alters Approach on Witness Statements

For the last 30 years, the NLRB has held that employers were not required to produce to a Union copies of witness statements gathered in the course of an employer’s disciplinary investigation. In Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 237 NLRB 982 (1978), the Board had held that witness statements were confidential material and that “an employer’s duty to furnish information under Section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not encompass the duty to furnish witness statements.” The Board concluded in that case…

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27 Dec 2012 Happy Holidays from the NLRB!

With member Hayes’ term on the NLRB expiring on Dec. 16, 2012, the Board noted the occasion with a virtual blitzkrieg of pro-Union decisions all of which were announced in time for Christmas and the holidays. Even the Board’s website, www.nlrb.gov, acknowledged the decisions as “significant.” Most of them were decided during Hayes’ last week on the Board but release was delayed for editing and formatting which is not uncommon. Here’s a quick run through…

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21 Dec 2012 House Panel Report on NLRB’s Pro-Union Bias Says What Employers Have Long Been Thinking…

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. – released a staff report accusing this NLRB of the obvious…pro-union bias. The report covered all of the greatest hits including the NLRB’s case against Boeing, the Specialty Healthcare decision regarding “microunions,” quickie election and posting rules, as well as the recess appointments. Amongst other adjectives, the report describes NLRB officials as “gleeful” following the pro-labor resolution of the Boeing matter. While…

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20 Dec 2012 Board Overturns a 50-Year Old Precedent

The NLRB’s relentless march towards reshaping U.S. labor law continued this month when the Board overruled its own 50-year old policy on whether dues may be withdrawn from employee checks after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement.   The Board, on Dec. 12, 2012, overruled its Bethlehem Steel decision from 1962 in which it had previously held that once a collective-bargaining agreement had expired, if that agreement contained a dues check-off clause, the employer…

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18 Dec 2012 But Wait! There’s More: The 11th Right to Work Misconception

We’ll take the liberty of adding an 11th item to Scott Witlin’s excellent list of the top-10 most common right to work misconceptions. 11.  Right to work laws do not necessarily allow employees to immediately stop paying dues. The devil’s in the details. In numerous Indiana union shops, workers asked to be freed from their dues-paying obligations after Right to Work was enacted. Michigan employers may be experiencing this already as well. Some Indiana employers stopped deducting their union dues. But…

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14 Dec 2012 Top-10 Misconceptions About Right to Work Laws

2012 saw two states adopt new right to work laws: Indiana and Michigan. As a result, the concept of right to work has been prominent in the news for the first time in decades. From the recent protests in Michigan, as well as those earlier in the year, it would seem that many protesting do not understand what a right to work law does and does not do. The label “right to work” has become…

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