Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
1

06 Nov 2018 Transparency? Unions May Be Gearing Up To Fight New Finance Reporting Rules

The Department of Labor (DOL) likely will be issuing new financial reporting rules for unions and their affiliates according to a recent report from Bloomberg Law. Federal laws, such as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, require unions to file certain financial disclosure documents with the DOL detailing how they are spending their members’ dues money (e.g., officer salaries, etc.).   According to the Bloomberg report, the DOL is preparing two likely proposals. The report…

READ MORE
3

17 Jul 2018 Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye: DOL Persuader Rule Nixed

Back in 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations that would have significantly narrowed the scope of the legal advice exemption to the persuader rules. Persuader rules require companies to report certain financial information on monies paid to companies and/or individuals who help “persuade” employees regarding various labor relations issues. The new rule would have required reporting of monies paid for legal services when those services included “indirect persuasion” activity, including advice on what…

READ MORE
0

01 May 2018 Is It A Union? That is the Question

As we have previously reported, due to declining private sector membership unions have explored new organizing tactics. One “new” union tactic involves the creation and support of so-called “Worker Centers.” These Worker Centers are usually formed as community groups but are often backed by labor organizations, i.e. unions. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been heavily involved in the formation of such community based “centers” as a means to advocate for higher minimum wage and…

READ MORE
5

19 Feb 2018 Does Misclassifying Employees As Independent Contractors Violate Labor Law?

  Whether it be the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), or state unemployment or workers’ compensation agencies, employee versus independent contractor status always is a hot issue. Missteps by employers in this area can result in back taxes, penalties, and more. The question has been looming, however, whether the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) also would be throwing itself into the misclassification analysis fray with other agencies. Specifically, the board previously…

READ MORE
2

21 Nov 2017 DOL Head Slams NLRB’s Vague Test for Joint Employment

  According to a recent report by Bloomberg BNA, Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Alexander Acosta expressed dissatisfaction for the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) joint-employment test during remarks to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers’ Convention. Specifically, while discussing his view of the DOL’s test for joint employment, he brought up and criticized the NLRB’s approach to the issue. He described the NLRB’s rule as being too vague and potentially infringing on the “freedom to…

READ MORE
0

12 Oct 2017 Trouble in Federal Union Paradise

  While private sector union membership has been declining for decades, down to 6.4 percent in 2016, public sector unions have remained relatively strong. But perhaps not everything is as good as it seems for public sector unions. Following news last week of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on mandatory public union fees, we’re now treated to a salacious story of federal employee union in-fighting.   American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 12,…

READ MORE
0

03 May 2017 Persuader Rule Still in Limbo

  Earlier this week, the Trump administration told a Minnesota district court judge that it needs additional time – until July 3 – to file the government’s position on the Persuader Rule. The administration said “[t]he United States Department of Labor still awaits the arrival of key political leadership prior to making final decisions as to the issues raised by this litigation . . . .”   Meanwhile, further south, a Texas district court judge’s decision…

READ MORE
0

16 Nov 2016 DOL’s Persuader Rule Unlawful; Permanently Enjoined

  A federal court judge in Texas has granted summary judgment in a case contesting the legality of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new Persuader Rule. The effect of the summary judgment ruling is to declare the rule to be unlawful and unenforceable. The ruling was made in a suit brought by 10 states and several business associations.   In a brief order, U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings wrote “The court is of the…

READ MORE
0

29 Aug 2016 Disclose All Labor and Employment Complaints – Big Changes for Federal Contractors Coming October 2016

  A few weeks ago, we reported on pending regulations implementing an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2014. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which some are deeming the “blacklisting” order, imposes additional reporting requirements on federal contractors whereby they must submit extensive data on various types of labor law violations. Under the order, prospective federal contractors must disclose labor law violations under 14 covered federal statutes, including those addressing…

READ MORE
1

27 Jun 2016 Texas Court Issues Nationwide Injunction Against DOL’s Persuader Rule

  A Texas Federal Court today issued a nationwide injunction preventing implementation of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new persuader regulations. More details will be posted, but absent some action by the Fifth Circuit, the court’s ruling prevents the DOL from enforcing its regulation that were due to take effect on July 1.   Click here to read a Barnes & Thornburg legal alert on this topic. Scott WitlinScott J. Witlin is a partner in…

READ MORE