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02 Feb 2018 UPDATE: How Will the Booming Economy, Corporate Tax Cuts, and Healthcare Uncertainty Affect Labor Negotiations in 2018?

  2018 is underway, and we now have our first preview of how the economy, corporate tax cuts, and healthcare may be affecting labor agreement negotiations this year – at least in terms of wage settlements. Bloomberg BNA released a report on findings from a survey of 46 recently ratified union contracts that summarizes data on agreed-to wage scales.   Based on the report, it’s a mixed bag thus far. According to a summary offered…

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01 Feb 2018 Second Time’s the Charm? NLRB to Reconsider Lawfulness of Restaurant’s Work Rules Under New Standard

  Employers received great news from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) late last year when the agency announced that it was revising its standard for evaluating the lawfulness of employer personnel policies under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and that ruling – a ruling that likely will result in more workplace policies being upheld – appears to already be paying dividends.   On Jan. 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C….

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31 Jan 2018 Columbia to Fight NLRB Ruling on Graduate Assistants’ Unionization Efforts in Federal Court

  In August 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that student assistants at Columbia University could form a union under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). That decision overruled a 2004 case dealing with Brown University where the board held such assistants did not have the right to unionize under the NLRA because they had a predominantly academic, rather than employment, relationship with their private university. At Columbia, the United Automobile Workers (UAW)…

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29 Jan 2018 NLRB Extends Deadline for Public Feedback on Potential Changes to Its ‘Ambush Election Rule’

  On Jan. 26, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it is extending the deadline for public feedback on potential changes to its “ambush election rule” to March 19. The deadline previously was Feb. 12.   The NLRB announced on Dec. 12 that it was seeking input from the public regarding the NLRB’s 2014 ambush election rule. According to the agency’s press release, the NLRB specifically is evaluating whether the rule should remain…

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26 Jan 2018 Kentucky’s Right-to-Work Law Upheld by Court

  A Kentucky state court judge has granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Teamsters’ Local 89 from Louisville, which claimed that Kentucky’s new Right-to-Work Act constituted a “taking” by the state in violation of the Kentucky Constitution.   The state’s constitution prohibits the state from “taking … private property for public use without compensation.” The Teamsters argued that the new law constituted a “taking” because it allowed “freeloaders” to have the benefit…

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25 Jan 2018 Indiana’s Union Membership Falls 12.5 Percent

  Is Indiana’s Right-to-Work Act adversely affecting union membership throughout the state? That seems to be the logical conclusion based upon statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).   According to the recently released BLS numbers, Indiana had 266,000 dues-paying union members in 2017, down from 304,000 union members in 2016. That’s a 12.5 percent decline in union membership.   Those 266,000 union members are 8.9 percent of Indiana’s total 2017 workforce. In…

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23 Jan 2018 Purple in the Face: Union Urges Federal Court to Permit Non-Business Use of Company Email Systems by Employees

  Many companies have policies that limit or outright restrict the use of their email systems by employees for non-work related purposes, but are those policies lawful? According to an infamous Dec. 2014 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – Purple Communications – such policies may run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).   Specifically, in Purple Communications, the board concluded that the company’s email policy completely banning personal use of…

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22 Jan 2018 CLOSED: NLRB Among Agencies Closed During Government Shutdown

  Thinking about filing something with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today? You’ll have to put those plans on hold, as the agency finds itself with many others that have been temporarily shut down while the country’s budget impasse continues. The NLRB has posted its contingency plan on its website.   The contingency plan notes that limited services, such as the Office of the Inspector General’s hotline, will remain in effect because they are…

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19 Jan 2018 Potential Organizational Changes at the NLRB Could Drastically Affect Labor Board Case Handling

  The way the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handles charges, representation cases, and other everyday issues may soon see significant change. According to a recent report by Bloomberg BNA, NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb recently held a conference call with board regional directors where he discussed potential changes to the way the NLRB is structured and handles cases.   Specifically, the report states: “[Robb] told the directors he is considering reorganizing the agency’s 26…

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19 Jan 2018 Trump Fills Final Vacancy on NLRB, Returns NLRB to Republican-Led Majority

  Employers may have thought the good news emanating from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the last month has died down. But things are only just getting started. On Jan. 12, President Trump filled the final vacant position on the NLRB, replacing the recently departing board chair Phillip Miscimarra with John Ring, a management-side labor law attorney with Morgan Lewis. This appointment would return the five-member board to a 3-2 Republican-led majority, and…

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