Category Archives: Labor Relations

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Union Organizing Trends: Use of Technology and Social Issues

Union organizers are effectively using technology and capitalizing on prominent social issues to dramatically increase union organizing in the technology industry and elsewhere. No longer do union organizers have to meet employees face-to-face in their homes, their employer’s parking lot, or in a public gathering location such as in a restaurant or bar. The widespread use of smart phones, email … Continue Reading

Non-Union Employers Beware: The NLRB Pendulum is Pushed Pro-Union

Employers that want to maintain non-union status must be aware of the significant and rapid shift of the NLRB toward pro-union positions. Everyone expected the NLRB pendulum to swing pro-union, but few observers expected the pendulum to be immediately and forcibly pushed as it has been. First was the prompt and unprecedented ousting of the General Counsel and Deputy General … Continue Reading

Labor Department Issues New Rule for Independent Contractor Status

With no clear guidance and different factors being given different weight by different courts, employers have struggled for years with whether workers can be properly classified as independent contractors, rather than employees, under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Now, the Department of Labor has issued a new rule  making clear what factors should be applied and how they should … Continue Reading

What Employers Can Expect From a Biden Presidency: Part III, the Winds of Change are Upon Us

With the certification of the Electoral College votes complete, Joe Biden will become President on January 20 and no doubt usher in sweeping changes. If you want to know what to expect, join us for a webinar on Tuesday, January 19 at noon Eastern. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview:… Continue Reading

Back to Pro-Labor: What Employers Can Expect From a Biden Presidency: Part II, Labor Relations Edition

While the final results are not yet certified, it appears that we have a new president. Employers across the country, both union and non-union, are wondering what they can expect from a Joe Biden presidency when it comes to organized labor. The Biden campaign was not shy about its strong support for labor unions, and many of Biden’s campaign promises … Continue Reading

Longer Than Expected Layoffs May Trigger Notice Requirements

Back in the spring, when COVID-19 first forced the shutdown of many businesses, did your company temporarily furlough or lay off workers? If so, pay attention to that calendar, as six months may be rapidly approaching. As we noted in our prior blog, certain layoffs and reductions in hours that last longer than six months trigger federal notice requirements … Continue Reading

Common Sense Finally Prevails: Employers No Longer have to Tolerate Abusive and Offensive Conduct in the Workplace  

Your employee has just cursed at you, calling you every racist and/or sexist name in the book. Naturally, that employee must go! Just as you are ready to sign off on the termination, a thought occurs to you: “Uh-oh. He was standing on a picket line when he called me those names. Am I still allowed to discipline him, or … Continue Reading

DOL Guidance on COVID-19 Leave Evolving

With employers and employees still working under the shadow of COVID-19, the Department of Labor (DOL) is keeping watch on new issues arising from the changing circumstances. But, while the DOL watches issues to provide guidance, a federal judge in New York is watching the DOL. This week, a New York judge vacated four portions of the DOL’s Family First … Continue Reading

The NLRB’s Division of Advice Has Spoken on COVID-19 in the Workplace, Providing Flexibility to Employers During the Pandemic

As employers continue to navigate these chaotic times, on July 15, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), through its Division of Advice (Advice), issued its first guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the workplace. In the form of five letters from Advice relating to the pandemic, the previously silent NLRB brought some beneficial clarity to employers who have no doubt … Continue Reading

Navigating the NLRA in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Workplace: What Both Union and Nonunion Employers Need to Know

As shelter in place restrictions ease and U.S. workplaces begin to reopen, both union and nonunion employers may find themselves facing a host of new challenges. Employers may wonder what they should be doing to keep their employees safe at work. They may wonder what kinds of medical tests they can perform on employees before allowing them into their facilities. … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Regulations on Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA Leave

Demonstrating that guidance on the newly mandated Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave is fluid, on April 6, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published new regulations as a “temporary rule” expanding on and tinkering with its prior guidance under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The new rule became effective … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues FFCRA Guidance, Poster

A flurry of publications from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) provide employers with additional details regarding the recently-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Q&A guidance issued March 24 establishes an April 1, 2020 effective date and explains how to calculate the 500-employee threshold and hours used to determine employees’ leave entitlement. A March 24 Wage and Hour … Continue Reading

Notice Requirements When Furloughing Or Laying Off Workers in the Pandemic

Employers contemplating layoffs or furloughs of employees as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak need to be careful. Even if they are not subject to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), they may be obligated to provide various notices under state “mini-WARN” acts or other state laws.

Below is a quick overview of how these federal … Continue Reading

Three More Employer Holiday Wishes Granted By National Labor Relations Board

The holiday cheer keeps coming from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with the release of three new decisions favoring employers: (1) workplace policies covering confidentiality during workplace investigations are lawful; (2) employers can restrict employees’ use of emails for nonbusiness purposes; and (3) employers can stop deducting and remitting union dues after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement.… Continue Reading

The Holidays Arrive Early for Employers: The National Labor Relations Board Issues New Union Election Rules

Employers can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Late last week, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) announced finalized union election rules, which will ease some of the quickie election procedures implemented by the Board in 2014. Perhaps most significantly, the new rule extends the time to the pre-election hearing from 8 calendar days to 14 business days, allowing employers, … Continue Reading

NLRB Clarifies Standard for Reviewing Workplace Policies, Finds Confidentiality and Media Contact Policies Lawful

Applying its new standard for determining whether employer policies violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a divided National Labor Relations Board (Board) upheld policies prohibiting employee disclosure of client and vendor information and contact with the media. The Board’s decision provides additional guidance about their new, employer-friendly standard of review.

Section 7 of the NLRA guarantees employees the right … Continue Reading

Minimizing Risks of BYOD Use For Work

Employees seem permanently attached to their smart phones today, but allowing employees to use their personal devices to make work calls, and send and receive work emails can carry substantial risks. Before allowing employees to use their personal cell phones or other devices for work purposes, make sure you have strong electronic communications and Bring Your Own Device policies in … Continue Reading

NLRB Proposes Employer Friendly Changes to Union Election Rules

Employers may find it easier to remain union-free based on new rules proposed last week by the National Labor Relations Board for bringing unions into and out of the work place. Citing the National Labor Relations Act’s (Act) purpose of safeguarding the freedom of employees to choose to unionize or to remain union-free, the NLRB proposed to change its rules … Continue Reading

NLRB Weighs in on Confidentiality, Personal Use of Company Email, and Other Workplace Policies

Employers should be careful about designating Employee Handbooks confidential as, according to the National Labor Relations Board’s advice division, that would be unlawful.  That advice was contained in one of five memoranda issued by the advice division last month. While not binding on the Board and not official Board precedent, advice memoranda provide guidance to the Board’s Regional Offices on … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Continues Trend of Employer-Friendly Actions

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent decision significantly revising the independent contractor standard will allow more workers to be so classified and therefore unable to unionize. This decision continues the Board’s growing trend towards employer-friendly positions and scaling back Obama-era developments. In other action this winter, the Board has proposed rulemaking modifying the joint employer test and limited its … Continue Reading

State of the “Unions”: 2018-2019

If there were a State of the “Unions” report, it would no doubt highlight unusual protests, increased organizing and widespread strikes in 2018, along with a forecast for a labor board likely to give more latitude to employers in 2019.

Groups of employees protesting against the actions of their employers are not unusual. However, two protests by groups of Washington, … Continue Reading

The NLRB Rolls Back the Definition of “Protected, Concerted Activity”

Workers who complain in a group setting will no longer be presumed to be engaged in “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act based on a new decision issued last month. The decision means that fewer employees in the workplace – whether unionized or not – will be covered by the protections of the NLRA.… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Slams Public Sector Union Rights

The Supreme Court has declared that mandatory union dues for public employees are unlawful, overturning 40 years of precedent. In Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Court ruled that requiring public sector employees who are not union members to pay “fair share” or “agency fees” to unions that represent them in collective bargaining violates the … Continue Reading

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