News & Analysis as of

ALJ Finds Employer's Pizza Party, Cash and Gift Card Bonuses Interfered with Union Election

SBM Management Services, Inc. provides custodial services for certain commercial facilities. After the company took over the custodial contract at a particular facility, it had regular employee meetings on Fridays. At the...more

‘Going Postal’ Over Data Breach Response: Union Files Failure-to-Bargain Charge With NLRB Against USPS

As recent high-profile cyberattacks have demonstrated, employers have a duty to protect their employees’ electronically stored personal information from being accessed by hackers, and to promptly remedy any breach in security...more

Volkswagen Adopts "European-Style" Labor Engagement Policy for Chattanooga . . . But Will It Stall?

Last week, Volkswagen Group of America announced a "Community Organization Engagement" policy that will allow labor organizations to engage in what the company calls "constructive dialogue" with the company and employees at...more

Executive Labor Summary Executive Labor Summary - September/October 2014

Ebola crisis: the next big organizing issue? - Labor relations are already being affected by the Ebola crisis in the United States. On October 8 and 9, at LaGuardia Airport in New York, approximately 75 non-union...more

The Dawn of "Micro-Unions": A Scary Proposition for Employers

Unions can be difficult enough to manage, even for experienced employers. Imagine taking your workforce of 100 employees and dividing them up into 10 different collective bargaining units… represented by 10 different...more

The Creeping Union Part I: Could a “Micro-Union” Happen to You?

Is it ever too early for a startup business to consider the potential impact of unionized labor on future operations? According to a line of cases stemming from a groundbreaking 2011 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)...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

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

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

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

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 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

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

Can Works Councils Be Legally Imported From the EU and Germany?

After workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., rejected an attempt by the United Auto Workers to gain representation, the company continued to express interest in bringing in a German-style works council, Kristin...more

Take 5 Newsletter: Five Labor and Employment Issues Faced by Health Care Employers

As the Affordable Care Act and the challenges of reimbursement and funding for health care services drive changes in the health care delivery system and employment in the industry, new issues in labor and employment law are...more

Employer’s Discharge of Employees Did Not Violate Bargaining Obligations under NLRB’s Alan Ritchey Decision

Under the National Labor Relations Board’s 2012 Alan Ritchey decision, an employer generally must bargain with a newly-certified union before imposing certain discipline, including a suspension, demotion, or discharge, where...more

Employers’ Right to Restrict Non-Employees’ Access to Their Property

Can Non-Employees Be Denied Access to Employers’ Property? Employers often raise questions on whether labor law requires them to allow non-employees to solicit, hand-bill, demonstrate, etc. on the employers’ property....more

"Busted" by Buttons — When Union Propaganda May Be Permitted in Patient Care Areas

Nurses and other health care workers are usually allowed to wear pro union buttons, stickers and other insignia at work absent special circumstances. However, one area of health care facilities, such as hospitals, where...more

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