Recent Blog Posts
- NLRB Acting Chair Dissents Point to Likely Changes to Board Election Rules and Employee Handbook and Email Standards
NLRB Acting Chair Philip Miscimarra has given the clearest indication to date of what steps a new Republican majority is likely to take to reverse key elements of the Labor Board’s hallmark actions of the Obama administration once President Trump nominates candidates for the Board’s two open seats and the Senate confirms. In each of these cases, Miscimarra highlighted his earlier opposition to the majority’s changes in long standing precedents and practices.
The Acting Chair’s Position On the Board’s 2014 Amended... More
- What’s Really in The NLRB’s New Amendments to Its Rules And Regulations and What Do These Changes Mean For Employers? On February 23, 2017 the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) made public a proposed Final Rule to revise its Rules and Regulations “ (the “Rules”) to reflect modern technology, such as E-Filing, and eliminate references to telegraphs, carbon copies, and the requirements for hard copy submissions and multiple copies, and to eliminate legalistic terms” from the Rules.
Because the Board contends these amendments to its Rules as “procedural rather than substantive,” it has taken the position that it is... More
- Labor Department Backs Away from Permitting Unions at OSHA Safety Inspections As we reported last week, the U.S. District Court refused to dismiss a challenge to OSHA’s controversial 2013 Fairfax Memorandum, which allowed for the participation of union representatives in OSHA safety inspections at workplaces where the union did not represent the workers. We asked at the time whether the Trump Administration would continue to defend that change in policy. This week, we saw the first concrete evidence suggesting that OSHA is at least reconsidering and may at a minimum drop... More
- F17 and the General Strike Movement – Best Practices for Addressing Political Activity in the Workplace This week, an activist group calling itself “Strike4Democracy” has called for a day of “coordinated national actions” – purportedly including more than 100 “strike actions” across the country – on February 17, 2017. The group envisions the February 17th strike as the first in “a series of mass strikes,” including planned mass strikes on March 8 (organized by International Women’s Day and The Women’s March) and May Day, and a general “heightening resistance throughout the summer.” The organizers are encouraging... More
- Court Refuses to Dismiss Challenge to OSHA Practice Allowing Unions to Accompany OSHA Workplace Investigations A United States District Court in Texas has refused to dismiss a law suit challenging OSHA’s practice of allowing union representatives and organizers to serve as “employee representatives” in inspections of non-union worksites. If the Court ultimately sustains the plaintiff’s claims, unions will lose another often valuable organizing tool that has provided them with visibility and access to employees in connection with organizing campaigns.
The National Federation of Independent Business (‘NFIB”) filed suit to challenge an OSHA Standard Interpretation Letter (the... More
- President Trump Appoints Philip A. Miscimarra Acting Chair of National Labor Relations Board – The Beginning of the End of the “Obama Board” By appointing Philip Miscimarra, who has served as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) since August 2013, to serve as Acting Chair of the agency, President Donald Trump has taken the first step in what will undoubtedly be an ongoing process to change the National Labor Relations Board. Chairman Miscimarra is the only Republican currently serving on the Board. Mark Gaston Pearce, who has served as chairman, a Democrat who has served as chairman since... More
- Permanent Injunction Issued Holding DOL Amended Persuader Rule Unlawful In a two page Order issued yesterday, Senior District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) controversial new Persuader Rule issued in March 2016, and its new Advice Exemption Interpretation, are “unlawful,” and Judge Cummings made permanent his earlier June 27th Preliminary Injunction Order.
The Rule and Interpretation, which now appear to be permanently struck down, would have imposed dramatic changes in longstanding precedents, by... More
- What the NLRB’s Ruling That Graduate Teaching Assistants Are Employees, With the Rights to Organize and Bargain Collectively Means for Employers The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has ruled that graduate teaching assistants, i.e. graduate students who provide instruction and assist faculty with research as part of their own post-graduate education are “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act), and thus have the right to join unions and engage in collective bargaining with the universities and colleges where they study.
For those who follow the Board, the 3-1 decision in Columbia University in, 364... More
- What Does Subway’s “Voluntary Agreement” with the US Department of Labor Mean for Joint Employer Status? This past week, Doctor’s Associates Inc., which is the owner and franchisor for the Subway sandwich restaurant chain entered into a Voluntary Agreement (the “Agreement”) with the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division “as part of [Subway’s] broader efforts to make its franchised restaurants and overall business operations socially responsible,” and as part of Subway’s “effort to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare” of Subway’s own workforce and that of its... More
- Can Your Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Make You a Joint-Employer With Your Suppliers? The NLRB May Find That It Does The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board), which continues to apply an ever expanding standard for determining whether a company that contracts with another business to supply contract labor or services in support of its operations should be treated as a joint employer of the supplier or contractor’s employees, is now considering whether a company’s requirement that its suppliers and contractors comply with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy, which includes minimum standards for the contractor or supplier’s practices... More