News & Analysis as of

White House Holds Worker Voice Summit

On Wednesday, the White House hosted a Summit on Worker Voice, an all-day event focused on promoting organized labor. The Summit featured panel discussions involving workers, union officials and organizers, and "model"...more

California Legislature Acts to Outlaw Pre-Employment Mandatory Agreements to Arbitrate Labor Code Claims

In late August, the California Senate and Assembly passed AB 465, which, if signed by Governor Jerry Brown, will make pre-employment mandatory agreements to arbitrate Labor Code violations against California public policy...more

NLRB Issues Significant Ruling on “Joint Employer” Issue

In December 2014, we reported that the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had issued 13 complaints naming McDonald's as a “joint employer” of the employees at its franchisees. The complaints alleged...more

Will China's Currency Devaluation Complicate the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

As trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries continue to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, China’s recent currency devaluation has sparked a debate over the inclusion of currency manipulation controls in...more

Immigration Alert: Decision Overturning 17-month OPT/STEM Extensions is stayed as USCIS scrambles to cure deficiencies

On August 12, 2015, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dealt a blow to employers by vacating the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 interim rule expanding the...more

Does The Ratio Of CEO To Employee Pay Matter?

The SEC recently voted to require employers to disclose the pay gap between the CEO and his or her employees. Unions, investors, and other groups have increasingly been using this disparity to attack companies. As Fortune...more

Blog: In Adopting Pay-Ratio Rules, Is The SEC Just A Mime Pushing On The Sides Of An Imaginary Box?

At an open meeting this morning, SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher contended that, in its efforts to adopt pay-ratio rules that conform to the Dodd-Frank mandate, the SEC was just putting itself in a box – viewing the...more

The First 100 Days of Ambush Elections: Impact on the Retail and Hospitality Sectors

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) implemented its “ambush” or “quickie” election rules on April 14, 2015. An analysis of available NLRB data on representation election (RC) petitions filed since the effective date of...more

Right to Work - Chapter 4

Yesterday, May 6, 2015, the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research, & Economic Development held work sessions on a number of bills pertaining to “Right to Work” policy. The Maine AFL-CIO held a morning rally in...more

State Employees Seek to Join Governor Rauner in Lawsuit against Fair Share Fees

Last week, three State of Illinois employees filed a motion to intervene in Governor Rauner’s lawsuit challenging fair share fees, which is currently pending in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois. Meanwhile,...more

Attorney General Madigan and Labor Unions Defend Fair Share Fees

Over the past several weeks, Illinois’ largest labor unions and Attorney General Lisa Madigan took steps to defend “fair share” fees against Governor Rauner’s Executive Order suspending the collection of those fees, and his...more

Governor LePage Pushes Right to Work Legislation

Governor Paul LePage is aggressively pushing LD 489, An Act to Ensure the Right to Work without Payment of Dues or Fees to a Labor Union as a Condition of Employment. Current law allows public employees to opt out of joining...more

AFL-CIO’s Industry Wide Agreement May Have Wide Reach in Hospitality Industry

Mid-way through 2012, the Hotel Association of New York City and the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO (the “Union”), renewed a seven-year collective bargaining agreement known as the Industry Wide Agreement, or...more

In Key Reversal, Board Grants Email Rights to Employees

In a reversal of its Bush-era decision, a divided National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employees generally have a right to use their employer’s email systems for union organizing and other protected purposes....more

NLRB Rules That Employees Have Right to Organize Using Company Email

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its decision in Purple Communications, Inc. & Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO today, holding that employees who are given access to company email accounts have a...more

Trade & Manufacturing - News of Note - November 2014

United States Announces Settlements Of WTO Disputes With Brazil and Indonesia - In October, the United States settled two long-running disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO) – one with Brazil over cotton...more

August 2014 Monthly Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline development are the seismic decisions, issued on August 27, 2014 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concluding as a matter of law that FedEx Ground had misclassified over 2,300 drivers...more

McDonald’s and Its Franchisees: The General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board Asserts That McDonald’s, USA, LLC Is a...

On July 31, 2014, I participated in a panel discussion on the Al Jazeera America television program “Inside Story,” hosted by Ray Suarez, regarding the recent determination by the general counsel (GC) for the National Labor...more

NLRB Finds That Employer Improperly Disciplined Employee Who Obscenely Grabbed His Crotch in Front of Female Co-Worker

On July 3, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handed down a decision in the case of Consolidated Communications d/b/a Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co. and Local 702, Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,...more

Senate Commerce Committee Passes Manufacturing Bill

On April 9, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act of 2013, which aims to grow U.S. manufacturing by strengthening the...more


When there is news of faith-based groups, student associations, worker centers, and other community organizations confronting employers, the appropriate response may be to borrow a classic New Orleans line: who dat? Close...more

Labor Letter, December 2013: State of the Unions: New Tactics Target Unorganized Workers

If you've been following the news, you probably realize that it has been a busy year for organized labor. The percentage of unionized workers in the private sector has fallen to historic lows, leaving unions with fewer...more

Latest AFL-CIO Membership Report Shows Union Membership Flat

Trends can be important. Notwithstanding powerful political support for organized labor from the Obama Administration, the recent trend of American workers to not join unions is continuing....more

A.F.L.- C.I.O Wants More People Standing Under Its Umbrella

For years now, it has not exactly been a secret that labor organizations are struggling to maintain and build membership in most sectors of the American workforce. Despite the presence of a Democratic president and a...more

The Future Of Labor Unions In The U.S.

Labor unions in the United States have been struggling with declining membership for decades. After reaching an all-time high of approximately 35% unionization of private sector employees in the 1950s, labor unions represent...more

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