William Kishman

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As Union Organizing Actions Skyrocket, the NLRB Seeks to Bar Employers from Holding Mandatory Meetings with Employees about Unions

Two major developments this week illustrate a new landscape for employers with regard to union organizing campaigns. First, the National Labor Relations Board has reported a dramatic increase recently in the number of union election petitions (i.e., requests for elections to decide whether a union may represent a group of workers).  During the first half … Continue Reading

Federal Contractors and Subcontractors: White House Clarifies New Vaccination and Safety Requirements (US)

The White House has clarified the requirements of one of the new federal measures that will require employers to ensure employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. Specifically, the White House has issued binding Guidance confirming the requirements of President Biden’s September 7 Executive Order concerning COVID safety for federal contractors and subcontractors. Although this Guidance leaves … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Top Attorney Signals Expansion of Remedies Against Employers (US)

The National Labor Relations Board has taken another step to expand employees’ and unions’ remedies for violations of federal labor law. On September 8, the Board’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a memo instructing Board officials to seek new and broader types of remedies in wrongful discharge cases and other situations.… Continue Reading

Healthcare Employers Take Note: OSHA Issues New Temporary Standard (US)

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had limited itself to issuing general guidance concerning COVID-19, as opposed to specific rules or standards. On Thursday, however, OSHA announced that it will issue its first standard specific to COVID-19 for healthcare workers. Although the standard is temporary, it creates significant obligations for … Continue Reading

Newly Comprised NLRB Declines to Modify “Contract Bar” Rule (US)

The National Labor Relations Board has provided important guidance for employers who deal with unions that may have tenuous employee support. As many employers know, after a union has been certified as the representative of a group of employees, there are certain legal procedures and doctrines that may allow an employer to cease bargaining with … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues Key Changes Regarding Arbitration Agreements, Confidentiality Provisions, and Employee Discipline (US)

The National Labor Relations Board continues to clarify and update employers’ obligations in key areas. As discussed below, one recent decision clarifies when employers may enter into arbitration agreements that require employees to keep the proceedings confidential. Another recent decision rescinded a rule issued by the Obama-era NLRB and clarified, for employers who are negotiating … Continue Reading

More Handbook Guidance: NLRB Shows When It Will Uphold Policies Regarding Confidentiality, Cell Phones, and Email Usage

Since the National Labor Relations Board issued the precedent-changing Boeing Company decision in late 2017, the Board has continuously illustrated when employment policies will survive scrutiny under the National Labor Relations Act.  Recently, in Argos USA LLC, the Board clarified its position about three common types of employment agreements or policies, i.e., those concerning confidentiality, … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues New Rules and Several Key Precedent-Changing Decisions (US)

The National Labor Relations Board issued a slew of precedent-changing decisions this month, as well as significant changes to its rules and regulations. These new rules and decisions will change labor law in several key ways for both union and non-union employers, including during union elections, during internal investigations, when employees seek to use work … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Limits Another Union Tactic (US)

On June 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued another favorable decision for employers who might find themselves facing union organizing activities or other types of union solicitation.  This latest decision will make it significantly more difficult for unions to solicit employees, strategize with supporters, or engage in similar activities on an employer’s … Continue Reading

NLRB Signals It May Claw Back Scabby The Rat (US)

One of labor unions’ key tactics relies prominently on balloon animals. Since the late 1980s, unions have used large inflatable animals – such as the infamous Scabby the Rat – to pressure employers and advertise labor disputes without running afoul of certain legal obligations. As we recently discussed on this blog, however, one recent court … Continue Reading

M&A News: Recent Case Provides Important Lessons For Buyers Acquiring Unionized Businesses (US)

When organizations are seeking to expand their operations, they often will find interesting targets who have union-represented employees. A union’s presence will create additional compliance obligations but contrary to common misconceptions, union-related obligations are not necessarily unmanageable.… Continue Reading

New Handbook Guidance Shows How the NLRB Views Common Employment Policies for Union and Non-Union Employers (US)

The National Labor Relations Board has once again clarified whether certain types of employee handbook policies will violate federal labor law. Employers should take note of these two new guidance memoranda, as they can help employers maximize the protection they afford to their confidential information, brands, equipment, and other important matters.… Continue Reading

NLRB Reinstates Prior Test Determining Whether Workers Are Independent Contractors (US)

On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board returned in yet another area to a standard that existed before the “Obama Board.” In SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., the Board vacated the test it had adopted five years ago to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee for the purposes of the … Continue Reading

Unionized Employers: NLRB Removes Key Hurdles for Deferring ULP Charges to Arbitration (US)

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued more good news for unionized employers. In a guidance memorandum last week, the Board’s General Counsel announced an updated approach that will help employers avoid litigating unfair labor practice charges filed by unions or union-represented employees who have filed grievances regarding the same underlying dispute.… Continue Reading

NLRB Clarifies How Employers May Respond When Unions Request Information About Tax Cut Savings and Other Matters (US)

Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board’s top prosecutor clarified how he views several key issues that arise when unions request information from employers. Board General Counsel Peter Robb confirmed that his office will not require employers to automatically inform unions about the amounts the employers have saved due to the recent federal tax … Continue Reading

The National Labor Relations Board Is Signaling A New Approach To Failure-To-Bargain Charges (US)

The National Labor Relations Board has recently signaled another key change for unionized employers. The Board may be on the verge of significantly expanding employers’ key defense to alleged failure-to-bargain unfair labor practice charges. Historically, the Board has made it particularly difficult for a unionized employer to adjust or update its operations in a way … Continue Reading

Ensure Your Company’s Public Relations Response Plan Follows These Key Employment Law Principles (US)

When a public relations issue strikes, it can be difficult to find time to implement new procedures or educate employees on new legal concepts. This is particularly true where social media can trigger a public relations crisis almost instantaneously. Accordingly, an organization should develop a public relations response plan before it needs one.… Continue Reading

NLRB Clarifies Key Developing Issues for Union and Non-Union Employers (US)

As most union and non-union employers know, the National Labor Relations Board has updated its standards in several respects over the past year. For some of these updates, the Board has not comprehensively clarified how far they extend or when they apply. In an effort to help clarify employers’ obligations, the Board’s top prosecutor, General … Continue Reading

Upcoming NLRB Developments Should Significantly Affect Employer Property Rights and the Processing of Unfair Labor Practice Charges (US)

Over the last week, the National Labor Relations Board has sent signals that it will significantly change how it addresses certain employer property rights and processes unfair labor practice charges. Although these developments concern relatively nuanced issues, they likely will affect both union and non-union employers in important ways.… Continue Reading

Federal Court: Franchisors and Other Businesses Do Not Create Joint Employment Via “Brand Protection” and Indirect Control (US)

Earlier this decade, hardly a week passed without some court or agency interpreting the joint employment doctrine more expansively than before. Although the National Labor Relations Board created many of these headlines by attempting to treat McDonald’s as the joint employer of its franchisees’ employees and expanding its joint employment test, many courts and other … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Issues More Useful Guidance on Handbooks and Other Policies (US)

Last December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a groundbreaking decision that gave both union and non-union employers more flexibility to protect their interests through employee handbooks and other written policies. This week, the Board’s top prosecutor – General Counsel Peter Robb – expanded on that decision and further clarified when an employers’ written policies … Continue Reading
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