NLRB Boosts 'Micro Units' With Macy's Decision

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In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a memorable decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile. The ruling, which was eventually upheld by a federal court of appeals, dealt a blow to employers: establishing a tougher standard for those seeking to prevent small collective bargaining groups known as “micro units,” or “micro unions,” from forming in their workplaces.

Another ruling by the labor board handed down on July 22 expanded on the Specialty Healthcare decision, showing that the board will apply the same rules to retail workers looking to form a micro unit that it did to health-care workers. In its 3-1 Macy’s decision, the NLRB granted a victory to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and opened a door to further micro union organizing efforts in the retail industry.

Originally published in Corporate Counsel on July 29, 2014.

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