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28 May 2012 NLRB Member Flynn Resigns From Board

Terence Flynn, one of two Republican members on the five member NLRB, resigned from the Board Sunday, May 27, effective July 24. Flynn has been under investigation over alleged inappropriate communications regarding the Board’s internal deliberations. Flynn’s resignation will permit President Obama to appoint another member. By tradition, that member should be a Republican. President Obama himself was the subject of controversy earlier this year by using his recess appointment powers to fill three vacancies on the…

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24 May 2012 NLRB Weekly Summary of Decisions: May 14-18, 2012

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) weekly summary of decisions for last week, May 14-18, is now available on the Board’s website. The summary can be accessed by clicking here. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed by the labor law attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. The blog aims to be a source for news, analysis, and commentary on traditional labor legal issues, including news related to the NLRB and a variety of state issues. More Posts -…

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23 May 2012 Former NLRB Member Craig Becker Jumps to AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO announced yesterday that former NLRB member Craig Becker has joined the union as its co-general counsel. Becker, who has also served as counsel to the SEIU, was nominated to the Board by President Obama in 2010. The Senate blocked his confirmation, with several Republican Senators criticizing his positions. The New York Times story on Becker noted that, during his confirmation process, Senator John McCain called him “probably the most controversial nominee that I have seen…

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23 May 2012 NLRB Issues Ruling in <i>Independence Residences, Inc. and Workers United Service Employees International Union</i>

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently held 2-1 that a group home operator whose employees voted for union representation in 2003 must bargain with a successor to the bargaining representative, UNITE HERE. The Board rejected the employer’s argument that years of litigation and employee turnover made the bargaining order inappropriate. Among other things, the Board pointed out that the employer failed to document employee turnover in the unit in a manner that would provide it…

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21 May 2012 Senator Isakson Blasts Recent NLRB Decision Approving Formation of New York Mini Union

Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia recently issued a press release “blasting” a recent Board decision approving the formation of a mini union of employees within the shoe department at the Bergdorf Goodman store in New York. Senator Isakson also called on the Senate to pass legislation to reverse the Board’s policy of allowing as few as two or three employees to form “micro” bargaining units. In his own words, Senator Isakson noted the following: “The labor board…

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15 May 2012 NLRB Suspends Implementation of Ambush Election Rules

The Board has announced that it is “temporarily” suspending implementation of its ambush election rules, in light of the D.C. District Court decision yesterday finding the rules invalid.  The Board’s notice states that about 150 representation petitions had been filed under the new rules since they went into effect on April 30. The parties involved in those cases will be given the opportunity to continue processing the case under the new procedures, but any newly filed cases will be processed…

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15 May 2012 Seventh Circuit Sides with U.S. Steel in Latest Donning and Doffing Decision

The Seventh Circuit in Sandifer v. U.S Steel has provided union employers a useful tool to avoid potential Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or “Act”) liability. Sandifer arose out of a “collective action” brought under the FLSA by 800 former and current unionized hourly workers at U.S. Steel’s steel works in Gary, Ind. The plaintiffs argued that U.S. Steel violated the FLSA when it failed to compensate them for time spent donning and doffing work…

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14 May 2012 D.C. District Court Throws Out Ambush Election Rules, Finds Board Lacked Quorum

  District Court Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion this afternoon finding the NLRB’s “ambush” election rules invalid because the Board did not have three members who cast a vote on whether to implement the rules when they were adopted in December.  Although the Board had three members at the time, Judge Boasberg found that Member Brian Hayes objected to the rules and did not…

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14 May 2012 Second Circuit Overturns NLRB, Upholds Starbucks’ One-Button Rule for Union Insignia

Employers were handed a victory by the Second Circuit last week after the court refused to enforce an NLRB order finding that Starbucks Corp. violated the NLRA by refusing to allow organizing employees to wear more than one union button.  The general rule is that employees have the right to wear union insignia at work unless the employer can show special circumstances that would justify restricting that right. In this case, although Starbucks had a…

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11 May 2012 The NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Wants To Access Your Company’s Intranet

In preparation for bargaining of an initial cba, the Machinists’ Union sent an extensive request for information to a DirecTV provider and installer in California. The request included a request for “access to the company intranet to the same degree unit employees have such access so the Union can review what material is available to all employees.” The Company refused and ULPs for refusal to bargain followed. In the proceeding before the Board, the NLRB’s acting General Counsel sought summary judgment…

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