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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…


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)…


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…


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…


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…


19 Dec 2017 Welcome to the NLRB Labor Law Time Machine, Step Right In…

  Everything that is old is starting to become new again. This past week, President Trump’s new NLRB appointments began to take action to return federal labor law to what it was before the eight years of pro-union rulings of the Obama-era boards.   Monday, Dec. 11   A 3-2 NLRB decision restated a board precedent that allowed administrative law judges to accept settlements over the objections of NLRB general counsel and the charging party,…


12 Dec 2017 And So It Begins…Trump NLRB Overturns Obama NLRB Precedent for First Time

  On Dec. 11, the newly constituted National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – which has a 3-2 pro-employer majority for the first time in nearly a decade due to appointments made by President Trump – overruled, for the first time, Obama-era precedent. Specifically, in a case involving the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the NLRB overruled Obama-board precedent that made it more difficult for employers to resolve unfair labor practice complaints.   The NLRB released…


11 Dec 2017 Employers Face the Music: NLRB Judge Rules Musicians May Protest Outside Auditorium

  As with property, many union protests seem to boil down to three things: Location, location, location! After being ushered across the street, union members’ recent protest outside the Tobin Center of Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas, hit a high note with an NLRB administrative law judge who held the union members had a right to protest outside the auditorium. This decision serves as a caution that employers may have to relinquish some control…


23 Aug 2017 There’s a Hole in Your Bucket: 114 Multiemployer Pension Funds on Track to Fail

  Some 114 multiemployer pension funds are on track to fail within the next 20 years, according to a report published this week by Cheiron, Inc., an actuarial consulting firm. Cheiron’s report indicates that these 114 pension plans covering nearly 1.3 million workers are underfunded by $36.4 billion and lack sufficient assets to pay retirees and current employees the full benefits under their pension plans.   Multiemployer pension plans, also called Taft-Hartley Funds, are used…


11 Aug 2017 Union Corruption: UAW and Auto Manufacturer Officials Allegedly Embezzled Millions in Union-Member Funds

  Union corruption probes, unfortunately, continue to make headlines. One of the latest centers on a United Auto Workers (UAW) National Training Center in Michigan. There, a former executive has pled guilty to siphoning more than $4.5 million in funds that were to be used to train UAW members.   The man, who was controller, helped to “steer funds, plane tickets, mortgage payments and other goods valued at more than $4.5 million to UAW Vice…