Unions

News & Analysis as of

Employee’s lack of knowledge of OHSA was factor in denying him promotion; employee’s grievance dismissed

An employee’s lack of knowledge of safety laws was a proper consideration in his employer’s decision to deny him a promotion, a labour arbitration board has decided. The employee, a unionized mechanic with the City of...more

NLRB Forces Restaurant to Allow Posters Insinuating Germ-Infested Food - Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act Guarantees...

The Jimmy John's sandwich franchise must have been surprised to learn that it had violated federal labor law when its disciplined employees who had posted hundreds of signs around its outlets suggesting that its sandwiches...more

Employer Rights Lost in Translation

A new NLRB matter demonstrates the importance of having bilingual managers for a bilingual staff. The employer addressed union members in the run up to a decertification election. The script called for the COO to warn the...more

The New Union-Organizing Tool - Embarrassment

Unions and other third parties have never before so heavily used public embarrassment as a means of organizing employees. The key to union organizing is to find a disgruntled employee who will serve as a leader and capitalize...more

Court Nixes Litigation Standards Set by Pathologists

What if a truck drivers' union tried to set standards for when juries could conclude that a driver was negligent in causing a motor vehicle wreck? Or what if a trucking company could defend its driver falling asleep at the...more

California Court of Appeal Holds Provision in Collective Bargaining Agreement Requiring On-Duty Meal Periods Meets Statutory...

In Araquistain v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (August 27, 2014) --- Cal. App.4th ---), the California First District Court of Appeal considered whether a provision in a valid collective bargaining agreement requiring...more

Box Score Elections Compiled By The Hospitality Update Staff

Since the start of this year, we were aware of 19 representation petitions that went all the way to an election. Unions were victorious in 13 of them. Please see full chart for more information....more

Right to Union Representation Applies to Employer Referrals for Drug and Alcohol Tests, NLRB Rules

The National Labor Relations Board ("Board"), in its July 31, 2014 decision in Ralph's Grocery Co., 361 NLRB No. 9 (2014), ruled that so-called "Weingarten rights" – the general right of a unionized employee to request union...more

Button Bans – Be Careful

Employers often implement dress code policies and practices which prohibit employees from wearing all types of buttons or insignia in the workplace. These kinds of policies may be put in place for customer relations,...more

Executive Labor Summary - July/August 2014

NLRB extends Weingarten right of union representation to drug and alcohol test situations - On July 31, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board in Ralph's Grocery Co. ruled that a union-represented...more

Russian Employment Law: Terms of Employment and Separation

Terms of Employment. Under Russia’s Labor Code, there is a maximum 40-hour work week for employees, and less than that for certain types of jobs and workers, such as for employees working in dangerous environments or...more

Court Draws Line Against Union Hotel Boycotts: National Labor Relations Act Bans "Secondary Boycotts"

A recent decision of the federal appeals court in Chicago gave hotel operators some welcome protection against union-organized boycotts arising from a labor dispute. In that case, 520 S. Michigan Ave. Associates, Ltd. v....more

NLRB is Poised to Find "Joint Employer" Relationships Just About Everywhere

As we have previously reported, on July 29, Richard Griffin, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, announced his intention to charge McDonald's USA, LLC, as a "joint employer" with its franchisees in a series...more

MOL permits employer to have multi-workplace joint health and safety committee, union’s challenge dismissed

A union has lost a request to suspend a Ministry of Labour Director’s order allowing a school board to establish a multi-workplace joint health and safety committee. The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act...more

Focused on Franchise Law - August 2014

FRANCHISOR 101: NLRB McDonald's Ruling May Put Crimp on Franchising - On July 29, 2014, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stated that McDonald's could be held jointly liable with its...more

Personal View: Union rules force changes

The National Labor Relations Board is set to make the final moves in a strategy seemingly designed to expand union representation in the private sector. Under the Obama administration, the NLRB has systematically...more

Two Recent Cases May Indicate Expansion of the NLRB’s Position Regarding Organizing Activity

In June, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Starbucks violated labor law by firing a worker, union supporter Joseph Agins, who used profanity in front of customers. In 2010, the NLRB found that Starbucks...more

Dealership Handbooks Are Being Picked Apart

Whether your dealership is unionized or you’ve never had to deal with organized labor, your employment policies are more likely now than ever to be targeted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Over the past two...more

Recent NLRB Retail Rulings Muddy the Micro-Unit Waters

At the end of July, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued two decisions under its controversial Specialty Healthcare standard, approving of one “micro unit” and disavowing another in the retail context. The NLRB’s...more

ALJ Declares NLRB’S Dues Checkoff Termination Decision a Dead Letter

In WKYC-TV, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 30 (2012), the NLRB overruled 50 years of precedent under Bethlehem Steel, 136 NLRB 1500 (1962), and held that going forward, employers could not unilaterally end dues checkoff at the expiration...more

Food, Folks, and Franchise-Wide Liability: NLRB Signals Intent to Pound Square Joint Employer Peg Into Round Franchise Hole

A big part of what makes the franchise model of business attractive to small business owners is the opportunity to own and operate their own business, but with their entrepreneurial risk backstopped by a known regional or...more

NLRB Decisions on “Micro Units” Provide Guidance for Employers Concerned With Union Organizing

In two recent decisions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reached different conclusions on whether unions can organize small groups of employees in a workplace. While the NLRB’s decisions in Macy’s, Inc. and The...more

NLRA Violation for Refusal to Allow Union Representation Prior to Drug Test

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) recently held that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it discharged an employee who refused to take a drug test without first consulting with...more

Executive Order Requires Certain Federal Contractors to Self-Report Labor Violations; Prohibits Mandatory Arbitration of Certain...

On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed the "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" Executive Order ("EO"), requiring federal contractors and subcontractors bidding on contracts over $500,000 to disclose any violations that they have...more

Employer Identity Crisis: NLRB's GC Dramatically Expands Joint Employer Doctrine to Include Franchisors

Employer Status for Franchisors - Franchisors typically do not control hiring discipline, termination, or other employment decisions made at locations operated by independent franchises. Can they nonetheless be...more

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