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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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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…

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16 Feb 2018 Prior Administration Board Decisions Still Matter

  There has been a great deal of discussion and internet content over the impact that a new and fully constituted NLRB could have on critical labor issues – and for good reason.   The Board in the last several years handed down multiple decisions on key issues that turned decades of precedent on its head.  It only makes sense that a more “pro-employer” trend due to the changes in administration would have companies excited at…

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07 Feb 2018 Can You Require Employees To Keep Harassment And Other Workplace Investigations “Confidential”?

  The wave of harassment claims sweeping the nation recently has spawned countless workplace investigations. But can companies require employees to keep such investigations “confidential” (i.e., direct employees to refrain from discussing an investigation while its ongoing)? The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), unfortunately, has placed limits on employers’ – both union and non-union alike – ability to do so.   Specifically, in a 2015 decision – Banner Health System, 362 NLRB No. 137 (June…

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05 Feb 2018 On the Hook: NLRB Forces Hotel to Pay Union’s Attorney’s Fees Related to Boycott Spat

  Companies, rightfully so, detest negative publicity, especially when it comes to things like organized consumer boycotts. Unfortunately, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects a union’s right, to some extent, to organize such boycotts in furtherance of its objectives. Employers interfering with lawful union-sponsored boycotts can face significant legal consequences, as demonstrated by a recent case issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).   On Feb. 1, the NLRB issued its decision in…

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01 Feb 2018 Second Time’s the Charm? NLRB to Reconsider Lawfulness of Restaurant’s Work Rules Under New Standard

  Employers received great news from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) late last year when the agency announced that it was revising its standard for evaluating the lawfulness of employer personnel policies under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and that ruling – a ruling that likely will result in more workplace policies being upheld – appears to already be paying dividends.   On Jan. 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C….

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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)…

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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…

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14 Nov 2017 NLRB Protected Concerted Activity or Harassment – Will Employers Finally Get Clarity?

  Yesterday, it was announced the NLRB and EEOC will issue a guidance in an effort to help employers better understand overlapping obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Title VII. The guidance no doubt is the result of a longstanding tension between an employee’s right to openly communicate about workplace issues (protected concerted activity) and an employers’ obligation under Title VII to prevent workplace harassment and bias, and be proactive about doing…

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08 Nov 2017 Action! House Passes Legislation to Stave Off Broadening Definition of Joint Employment

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took another step forward on Nov. 8. The House of Representatives passed legislation that would redefine “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to only cover instances when two or more companies have direct control (as opposed to merely indirect or potential control) over a group of workers. In other words, if ultimately signed into law, the bill would…

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06 Oct 2017 Will Congress Act to Stave Off the Broadening Definition of Joint Employment?

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took a step forward on Oct. 4. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed legislation that would redefine “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to only cover instances when two or more companies have direct control (as opposed to merely indirect or potential control) over a group of workers. In other words, if ultimately signed into…

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