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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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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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15 Jun 2017 ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!’ Class Action Waiver Battle Kicks Off At Supreme Court

  The class action waiver battle between employers and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been brewing for years. It’s finally coming to a head, as the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve the dispute earlier this year and a group of employers just filed their opening briefs in the matter.   Class action waivers are a tool utilized by companies to blunt costly and time-intensive class or collective claims brought by a large…

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13 Jun 2017 ‘BIG Little Lies’: Employer’s Inconsistent Practice Invalidates Employee Termination for Dishonesty, Says NLRB

  A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? That age-old saying appears to be false, at least when it comes to a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On June 9, the NLRB issued its decision in Cellco Partnership, 365 NLRB No. 93 (2017), which found that an employer unlawfully discharged an employee for dishonesty because the employer had handled terminations for lying inconsistently.   In the case, employee Bianca Cunningham,…

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07 Jun 2017 Congressional Leaders Ask Trump to Fill Long-Standing Vacancies at the NLRB

  Two vacancies remain on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and many in the business community are anxiously awaiting President Trump’s expected appointment of pro-management members to the agency. On May 30, members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce sent the president a letter asking that he move “expeditiously” to fill the vacancies. In that letter, Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), committee chair, and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) further noted that the NLRB…

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05 Jun 2017 ‘Smile, You’re On Candid Camera’ – Federal Court Upholds NLRB Ruling That Prohibits Non-Union Employers From Banning Recordings in the Workplace

  Many employers maintain policies prohibiting surreptitious recordings in the workplace. As noted on the blog last year, however, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) struck down such a policy in Whole Foods Market, Inc., 363 NLRB No. 87 (2015). In that case, the NLRB held that an employer’s prohibition on the use of recording devices in the workplace to record conversations, events, etc., without company authorization was unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act…

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31 May 2017 A Growing Divide: Sixth Circuit Decision To Invalidate Class/Collective Action Waiver Widens Appellate Court Split

  On May 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit sided with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in finding that an employer unlawfully included a “class action waiver” within a mandatory arbitration program applicable to its employees. In NLRB v. Alternative Entertainment, Inc., the Sixth Circuit specifically found that the company’s arbitration pact barring employees from pursuing class-action litigation or collective arbitration of work-related claims violated Section 7 of the National Labor…

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26 May 2017 Senator Introduces Bill To Amend NLRA And Reverse Micro-Unit Trend

  It’s been a busy few weeks on the micro-unit front. As just reported on the blog, Chairman Philip Miscimarra recently signaled he would like to overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB 934 (2011), that gave rise to a wave of micro-units in recent years. Following on the heels is news out of the Senate on May 24 that some members of Congress also…

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25 May 2017 Getting Away With Murder? NLRB Tells Federal Court Union Election Observer’s Use Of Fake Firearm Did NOT Invalidate Union Election Results

  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) often sets aside union election results where an employer has prevailed when the agency finds “objectionable conduct” occurred. This has been done in cases where, for example, an employer’s handbook contained an overbroad confidentiality policy; supervisors have made “promises” to employees with respect to how they may be treated if they vote to keep a union out; or when a company has given an otherwise lawful “captive audience…

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24 May 2017 It Could Be. It Might Be. IT IS! DOL’s Persuader Rule To Be GONE!

  Media outlets are reporting that the Department of Labor (DOL) officially is moving to drop its “persuader rule” that would have imposed significant reporting requirements on companies and consultants related to union-avoidance efforts.   On May 22, the DOL formally proposed to revoke the controversial rule. The rule has been tied up in litigation for months, and a challenge currently is pending in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOL’s move to rescind the…

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