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29 Jun 2017 Swan Song? NLRB Contemplates Shuttering San Diego Office

  On June 27, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced in a press release that it is contemplating closing the agency’s San Diego office. The San Diego office handles cases and proceedings arising in Southern California and falls under NLRB Region 21 out of Los Angeles.   The general counsel’s office has invited public comments regarding the potential closure to be submitted to the agency via emails to feedback@nlrb.gov by July 31.   It…

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28 Jun 2017 Balance of Power May Be Shifting at the NLRB

  After an extended period of time without its full five-member complement, the NLRB may finally be moving toward capacity. In May, Congressional leaders asked President Trump to fill the long-standing vacancies. The board is currently comprised of just three members — one Republican (Chairman Philip Miscimarra) and two Democrats (members Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerran).   However, President Trump has announced his picks to fill the two open positions with, not surprisingly, two…

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28 Jun 2017 Obamacare Repeal: Will You Have to Bargain With Your Union Over Changes?

  Senate Republicans continue to work on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare). As Politico reported on June 27, “Republicans plan to re-write their health bill over the Fourth of July recess and get a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office before bringing legislation to the floor.” The legislative process will continue to unfold and specifics of what will change are yet to be determined. However, changes to…

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27 Jun 2017 Will Amazon’s Acquisition Impact Labor Relations at Whole Foods?

  The grocery industry has a relatively high unionization rate – especially in this day and age where private sector union membership in general is below 7%. While Whole Foods has been a target of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union for years, the company nevertheless has been able to remain one of the only big supermarket players without a union presence. According to its CEO, it’s been able to do so because…

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23 Jun 2017 Negotiating Tips: The Art of the Ratification Bonus

  Every negotiation, especially complex negotiations, requires careful planning and, once things get underway, creative ideas and tools to bring the deal to completion. In the collective bargaining context, one often overlooked tool available to companies that can help “grease the skids” is the ratification bonus (aka “signing bonus”). There are two critical components to an effective ratification bonus: 1) structuring it in a way that truly incentivizes a union to accept the deal you…

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23 Jun 2017 Take a Screen Shot of This: Supervisor Unlawfully Interrogated Employee Through Text, NLRB Says

  Texting has become one of the most common ways  people communicate. Despite its prevalence, however, texting can raise serious concerns for employers, particularly when such communication takes place between a supervisor and employee in the context of a union election.  A recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case makes that point clear. In RHCG Safety Corp and Construction & General Building Laborers, Local 79, the Board held that a coercive text message from a…

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22 Jun 2017 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of June 5 – 9

  The Summary of NLRB Decisions for the week of  June 5 – 9, 2017 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Perkins Management Services Company  (13-CA-173696; 365 NLRB No. 90)  Charlotte, IL, June 5, 2017.   The Board granted the General Counsel’s Motion for Default Judgment pursuant to the noncompliance provisions of an informal settlement agreement.  The Board found that the Respondent failed to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement, and…

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21 Jun 2017 Untangling the Web? Senator Introduces Bill to Reverse Obama-Era Ambush Union Election Rules

  During President Obama’s two terms in office, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a slew of game-changing decisions and rules affecting labor-management relations in the U.S. Perhaps none more so than the “ambush election rules” that took effect in April 2015. Those rules dramatically shortened the time an employer has to campaign against a union prior to an election in its workplace, among other things, and they continue to make headlines.   On…

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20 Jun 2017 SCOTUS Declines to Weigh in on Micro-Units, But There Still is Hope

  On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal filed by Macy’s, Inc., regarding a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that imposed a micro bargaining unit within one of the company’s department stores. Specifically, the NLRB held that a union could seek to represent only the fragrance and cosmetic workers on two floors of the store.   In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit…

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20 Jun 2017 Public Union Forced “Agency Fees” on the Chopping Block Again

  The issue of forcing unionized public employees to pay union “agency fees” is teed-up for the Supreme Court once again. Mark Janus, an employee of the state government of Illinois who is represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees appealed a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week that upheld 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent holding that forcing public employees represented by unions to pay…

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