Unions

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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

"Micro-Units": NLRB Eases The Way For Union Organizing

Even the most casual of observers would have to be wearing blinders not to notice the extraordinary efforts made by the Obama Administration to make it easier for labor unions to organize the non-union workforce. ...more

Supreme Court Opinion Calls into Question Hundreds of NLRB Rulings

On Thursday, June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited Noel Canning decision (NLRB v. Noel Canning, 572 U.S. ____ (2014)), and invalidated President Obama’s January 2012 appointments of three individuals to the...more

Franchisors Not Lovin’ It: NLRB Announces McDonald’s Named Joint Employer with Franchisees

On July 29, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel announced that McDonald’s, USA, LLC will be named as a “joint employer” in at least 43 cases alleging unfair labor practices against...more

Micro Unions Are Here to Stay: Cosmetics Workers Made Up for Unionizing But Shoes Salespeople Need to Find a Better Fit

The question – or controversy, depending on who you talk to – about the propriety of “micro-units” or “micro-unions” has been a pressing issue for employers since the National Labor Relations Board issued its Specialty...more

NLRB ALJ Finds Civility Requirement in Employer's Social Media Policy Legally Permissible

Federal Administrative Law Judges continue to adjudicate claims brought by the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, challenging the legality of employer social media policies. As reported in EmployNews, the NLRB...more

Really? Requiring Someone To Use Information “Fairly And Lawfully” Can Be Illegal?

Companies have lots of very good reasons for adopting codes of conduct. These reasons include: - Ensuring compliance with applicable exchange listing rules (e.g., NYSE Rule 303A.10 and NASDAQ Rule 5610); -...more

Department Store Units Decided Under Specialty Healthcare

This week the NLRB decided two cases involving union organizing in large department stores. In each case an NLRB regional director applied the Board’s Specialty Healthcare test to determine whether the bargaining unit...more

NLRB Deems Micro-Unit an Appropriate Bargaining Unit in Retail Industry

The National Labor Relations Board (the "Board" or NLRB) recently issued a pair of decisions applying its Specialty Healthcare test to determine if petitioned-for units in two large department stores were appropriate for...more

Should Bergdorf’s Tell Macy’s?

In a peculiar spin on the old line “would Macy’s tell Gimbel’s,” the NLRB unanimously rejected a micro bargaining unit at retailer Bergdorf Goodman only a week after it approved a somewhat similar micro bargaining unit at...more

NLRB to McDonald’s: Not Lovin’ It

In a breathtaking announcement issued on July 29, 2014, the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has authorized the issuance of complaints against McDonald’s USC, LLC in at least 43 unfair labor...more

The future of industrial action

Nicholas Jew, a Partner in our Birmingham office comments: 10 July 2014 may well be remembered as marking a potentially seismic shift in the UK Government’s approach to industrial action. On this day, an estimated one million...more

NLRB Rules Bergdorf Shoe Sellers Are Mismatched for Micro-Bargaining Unit

In a long-awaited decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unanimously held that women’s shoe sales associates from two different departments within Bergdorf Goodman’s New York store could not be combined into a...more

Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other? NLRB Finds Micro-Unit of Shoe Sales Associates Not Appropriate

On Monday, a unanimous National Labor Relations Board dismissed a union petition seeking to represent 46 shoe sales associates at a Bergdorf Goodman store in New York. This decision comes on the heels of the NLRB’s ruling...more

LIRR Strike Averted, but Employers Should Remain Aware of Wage and Hour Requirements When Outside Events Prevent Workers From...

Recently, union leaders at the Long Island Railroad and representatives of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority finally reached a deal to avoid a strike. If a strike had occurred, businesses would have faced a...more

Act Now Advisory: NLRB's Macy's Decision Raises Questions About Best Strategies for Combating Union Efforts to Organize...

In a decision released this past week, a majority of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or "Board") recommitted the federal agency to the principles set forth in Specialty Healthcare, further expanding the way for...more

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