Recent Blog Posts
- California Puts a Foot On the Scale to Drive Unionization Higher: AB 1291 Mandates State-Sponsored Assistance in Organizing Cannabis Employees As private sector unionization rates have continued to fall over recent decades, organized labor has increasingly turned to the state and local politicians it supports for assistance in the form of state legislation and local ordinances imposing burdens on employers and aid to unions, while depriving employees of the process and balance intended by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). These often come in the form of “Labor Peace” requirements which mandate employers enter into agreements with unions that do... More
- NLRB Reverses Position on Confidentiality Concerning Workplace Investigations – Holds That Confidentiality Requirements Are Presumptively Lawful The National Labor Relations Board, in its December 17th decision in Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store, has reversed its prior rule and held that employer requirements that employees treat workplace investigations as confidential are “presumptively lawful.” The Apogee decision overturns the Board’s 2015 Banner Estrella decision, which had required that an employer seeking to impose confidentiality in connection with a workplace investigation was required to prove, on a case by case basis, that the integrity of an investigation would... More
- NLRB Reverses Purple Communications – Holds Employer May Restrict Employees’ Use of Email and Other Information Technology Systems On December 17, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) ruled that an employer’s rule prohibiting use of its email system for nonbusiness purposes did not violate employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The 3-1 decision in Caesars Entertainment Corp d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, NLRB Case No. 28-CA-060841, overturns the Board’s 2014 decision in Purple Communications, which held that work rules prohibiting employees from using employer-provided email systems for union activity were presumptively invalid.
According to the... More
- The Board Restores Balance in Collective Bargaining by Restoring Employers’ Right to Unilaterally Cease Dues Checkoff Upon Expiration of a Collective Bargaining Agreement Approximately four years ago, during the Obama Administration, the National Labor Relations Board upended decades of well-settled precedent by making it unlawful for employers to unilaterally cease dues checkoff pursuant to a contractual dues check-off provision upon the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. This week, the Republican-majority Board in Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc. reversed that departure from established precedent and restored balance and stability in collective bargaining negotiations by holding that an employer has the right to stop... More
- NLRB Issues Proposed Rule to Scale Back 2014 Expedited Election Rules The National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) has announced that it is publishing proposed changes to its Rules and Regulations that will begin to reverse the Board’s 2014 changes, which took effect in 2015, to its representation election rules and procedures commonly referred to as the “ambush election rules.” The proposed final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register on December 18, 2019 and to become effective 120 days after publication.
Board Chairman John F. Ring described... More
- NLRB’s General Counsel Signals Major Shift in Neutrality Agreement Between Employers and Unions Seeking to Organize Their Employees The General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) has signaled what may be a major resetting of the law on the Board’s position concerning the legality of so called neutrality agreements, in which employers make concessions and accommodations to labor unions seeking to organize and represent their employees. This occurred with the General Counsel’s consideration of an appeal by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. (the “Fund”) of a dismissal of an unfair... More
- NLRB Adds New Three-Part Test to Standard for Evaluating Appropriateness of Bargaining Units One of the matters of significance to employers and unions under the National Labor Relations Act that became a point of contention under the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) during the Obama Administration was the movement to allow representation elections in what were commonly referred to as “micro-units,” which many believed made it easier for unions to score victories and gain bargaining rights. The Board’s recent decision in Boeing Co. and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers... More
- Bill Aimed at Removing Authority from NLRB Introduced in the Senate On October 24, 2019, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Protecting American Jobs Act. The bill, cosponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), would significantly amend the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by removing much of the authority currently held by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”).
Under the NLRA, the Board’s General Counsel is responsible for investigating unfair labor practice (“ULP”) charges, issuing complaints regarding ULP... More
- NLRB Solidifies Boeing and Provides Guidance on Employer Workplace Rules As discussed in previous blog posts and articles, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in Boeing Co., overruled past precedent that had resulted in the invalidation of “commonsense [workplace] rules and requirements that most people would reasonably expect every employer to maintain.” Boeing sought to return the analysis to a more balanced approach in which workplace rules would no longer be struck down simply because such rules could have been more narrowly tailored or just because a hypothetical employee theoretically... More
- In Adopting “Contract Coverage” Standard, NLRB Gives Employers Greater Flexibility to Act Unilaterally on Subjects Encompassed by Collective Bargaining Agreements As summer turned to fall, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) issued a steady stream of decisions with significant and favorable implications for employers. In the flurry of recent decisions, the Board addressed misclassification of workers as independent contractors, employers’ rights to control access to private property (Tobin Center for Performing Arts, UPMC, and Kroger Mid-Atlantic), the right to impose class action waivers in the wake of employment lawsuits, withdrawal of union recognition, the appropriate scope of... More