Steven M. Swirsky’s Analysis Showcased in LexBlog’s “Top Ten Law Blogs: Espionage, Solar Power, and Paid Sick Leave”LexBlog August 24, 2016
Steven M. Swirsky, a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the firm's New York office, authored an article that was showcased in LexBlog titled “What the NLRB’s Ruling That Graduate Teaching Assistants Are Employees, With the Rights to Organize and Bargain Collectively Means for Employers.”
Following is an excerpt:
While the immediate impact of the decision is that the NLRB will now conduct a representation election in a unit of “All student employees who provide instructional services, including graduate and undergraduate Teaching Assistants (Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Preceptors, Course Assistants, Readers and Graders): All Graduate Research Assistants (including those compensated through Training Grants) and All Departmental Research Assistants,” to allow them to vote on representation by the UAW, the decision raises troubling questions both within academia and elsewhere and should be seen as part of a broader trend by the Board’s majority appointed by President Obama, to jump start collective bargaining and union organizing and bring unions into settings where until now they have not been found.
As we have previously reported, the NLRB has been broadly examining the nature of the employer-employee relationship, not only in the context of joint employment and co-employment but also in new areas of the gig economy, where unions and employees are arguing that workers traditionally recognized to be independent contractors have been “misclassified” and that such misclassification is in and of itself an unfair labor practice