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16 Aug 2017 Fractured Workforce: Federal Court Approves Micro-Unit Certified by NLRB

  Unfortunately, it appears the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent trend of certifying micro-units is here to stay until a pro-management majority at the agency is confirmed, which may not happen as soon as we once thought. On Aug. 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed an NLRB decision against Rhino Northwest LLC that found a small, discrete segment of that company’s workers could be properly certified as a bargaining unit….

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28 Jun 2017 Obamacare Repeal: Will You Have to Bargain With Your Union Over Changes?

  Senate Republicans continue to work on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare). As Politico reported on June 27, “Republicans plan to re-write their health bill over the Fourth of July recess and get a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office before bringing legislation to the floor.” The legislative process will continue to unfold and specifics of what will change are yet to be determined. However, changes to…

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23 Jun 2017 Take a Screen Shot of This: Supervisor Unlawfully Interrogated Employee Through Text, NLRB Says

  Texting has become one of the most common ways  people communicate. Despite its prevalence, however, texting can raise serious concerns for employers, particularly when such communication takes place between a supervisor and employee in the context of a union election.  A recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case makes that point clear. In RHCG Safety Corp and Construction & General Building Laborers, Local 79, the Board held that a coercive text message from a…

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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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22 May 2017 End In Sight For The Micro-Unit Nightmare Spawned By NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare Decision? Maybe…

  There appears to be light at the end of the micro-unit tunnel. Anyone following National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) developments knows that few decisions have had as much impact on U.S. labor law as the agency’s decision in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB 934 (2011). Now, NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra just offered hope, saying that the Specialty Healthcare decision may have been off-base. That decision paved the way for a…

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19 May 2017 First-Year Report Card on Graduate Student Assistants Unionization

  Last fall, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) re-opened the door to unionization by graduate student assistants. The NLRB overturned 12 years of precedent and ruled that graduate assistants at Columbia were employees eligible to unionize under the NLRA. An entire school year has passed since that ruling in August 2016, so we wanted to provide a progress report on graduate student unionization.   At Columbia, the university at issue in the August NLRB case,…

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18 Apr 2017 Union Wins Representation Vote in Atlanta Area

  In a reminder to Georgia employers not to take the state’s typically low unionization rates for granted, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that a union has won the right to represent workers at an Atlanta-area logistics and distribution center. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union won the representation election 49-46 at a Nestlé facility in McDonough, Georgia.   While the overall unionization rate in the private sector in Georgia is very low (around 3…

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21 Feb 2017 UAW Announces ‘Buy Union American-Made’ Ad Campaign

  Looking to piggyback off the “keep jobs in America” theme touted by President Trump, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union announced an ad campaign that urges people to buy union- and American-made cars.  UAW President Dennis Williams said the campaign could be similar to the “Look for the Union Label” jingle in in the 1970s in support of the now-defunct International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. “If it’s not built in the United States, then don’t…

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29 Nov 2016 And You Thought Trump-Clinton Was Close: Hoffa Squeaks Out Win To Remain Teamsters’ President

  It is (or was) election season and while the spotlight is (or was) focused on the Trump-Clinton and other federal and state government races, another significant election occurred this month: voting for officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union. James P. Hoffa – son of the late Jimmy Hoffa – has been the general president of the Teamsters since 1998. During his tenure, he has overseen various changes within the Teamsters, such as the union’s…

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08 Aug 2016 Employers’ Role In Decertification Efforts Continue To Receive Intense Scrutiny

  Decertification petitions are a mechanism under which employees can vote to get rid of their union in the workplace. Employers’ efforts during employees’ decertification efforts, however, always receive much scrutiny from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).   The NLRB generally only permits “ministerial aid” by an employer prior to the filing of a petition (e.g., an employer may be able to answer technical questions about the timing for filing such a petition in…

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