Archives: Trade Unions

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UK trade union representative unfairly dismissed despite unlawful misuse of confidential information. Really?

Apparently, said the Court of Appeal, the unlawful retention and circulation of confidential material by a union representative “was not a sufficient departure from good industrial relations practice” to justify his dismissal, a conclusion which initially seems little short of perverse, let alone an alarming comment on the state of industrial relations in the UK’s … Continue Reading

NLRB Tackles University Social Media Policy in Advice Memorandum

Second year pro football quarterback and Northwestern University alum, Trevor Siemian is making headlines on the field this season for the Denver Broncos. His alma mater is making headlines off of it in the realm of labor law.  Again. Last year, Northwestern’ s scholarship football players filed an action with the National Labor Relations Board … Continue Reading

French trade union tests boundaries of “respect for the Republic”

One of the requirements which must be satisfied before a trade union can operate in France is that its constitution and its actions should “respect the values of the French Republic”. In Société Global Facility Services v. Snapmrasa, an employer argued that a trade union seeking recognition in its workplace could not validly appoint a … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues New Captive Audience Rule for Mail-Ballot Elections

The NLRB opened a busy February by overruling a rule it established in 1959 governing when captive audience meetings may be held for mail-ballot elections. For nearly 60 years, there was a divide in the way the NLRB handled captive audiences for mail-ballot elections and manual (in-person) elections. For mail-ballot elections, the NLRB followed the … Continue Reading

UK Trade Union Bill – political or practical?

As MPs debate the Trade Union Bill (see our initial summary https://www.employmentlawworldview.com/uk-trade-unions-get-the-bill-for-transport-strikes/), the issue for employers is whether the Bill is political or practical and whether the tightening of the rules on picketing will actually backfire, resulting in unions using more unorthodox methods to achieve their objectives. The Bill has come in for a lot … Continue Reading

NLRB Expands Its Definition Of ‘Joint Employer’

In a highly-anticipated decision, a divided National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) significantly expanded its definition of “joint employers.”  The new standard portends to have substantial implications to employers across a broad spectrum, but most significantly in the franchisor-franchisee and temporary labor context.  In Browning-Ferris Industries, three members of the five-member Board did away with the … Continue Reading

NLRB Punts In Northwestern University Football Case, Declines To Decide Whether Scholarship Athletes at Private Universities Can Join A Union

With the college football season about to get underway, on August 17, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its highly-anticipated decision involving Northwestern University’s scholarship football players’ attempt to unionize. As background, the National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right to organize and join labor unions.  This right, however, applies only to employees employed … Continue Reading

Noel Canning, Part Deux? Kind of… D.C. Circuit Rules NLRB Complaints Issued By Former Acting General Counsel Are Voidable (But Not Void)

With last year’s Supreme Court decision in Noel Canning only slightly in the rearview mirror, another court has ruled that the NLRB made yet another unlawful end-run around the laws that limit its authority to act.  In a case involving an Arizona ambulance company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on … Continue Reading

NLRB’s “Ambush Election” Rules Survive Federal Court Challenge

Those of you following the controversial recent revisions to the National Labor Relations Board’s union election rules know that those rules went into effect in April of this year, over a Congressional disapproval resolution.  (See our previous posts concerning the issuance and implementation of the rules here, here, and here.)  These rule changes have been labeled … Continue Reading

Two Recent D.C. Circuit Decisions Reverse the NLRB, Restore Common Sense

In two recent decisions out of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court reversed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board), finding that Board’s conclusion that the employers engaged in unfair labor practices in each case ignored simple realities, and instead restored the common sense balance between employees’ and employers’ rights with respect … Continue Reading

NLRB Approves Employees’ “WTF” and “Cut the Crap” Insignia

In a recent ruling [pdf] the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that AT&T and affiliated telecommunications companies in California and Nevada can’t lawfully prohibit employees from wearing buttons and stickers containing phrases such as “WTF Where’s the Fairness” and “Cut the Crap” when such buttons or stickers are worn during union negotiations. Although employees generally … Continue Reading

Private lives v saving lives: privacy intrusions of little consequence when drug testing

There has been a long running battle in Australia about whether an employer, when testing for drug use, can ask employees to provide a urine sample. Many unions have resisted the introduction of urine testing, arguing that saliva testing is sufficient and, as such, the process of sampling urine is an unjustified invasion of privacy. … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Division of Advice says franchisor not joint employer under current or proposed tests

The National Labor Relations Board’s Division of Advice has issued an advice memorandum finding that a restaurant franchisor is not liable as a joint employer for its franchisee’s alleged unfair labor practices, either under the NLRB’s current standard, or the new standard proposed by the General Counsel in Browning-Ferris Industries. The NLRB’s current joint employer … Continue Reading

NLRB “Ambush” Election Rules Now In Effect

As if mid-April’s tax filing deadline wasn’t already enough of a downer, the NLRB has given employers the dreaded one-two punch, as its new union “ambush” election rules have now officially gone into effect. Although hailed by the Democrat members of the NLRB who championed them as modest changes intended to streamline the process of … Continue Reading

With Ambush Election Rules Poised To Go Into Effect, NLRB General Counsel Issues Guidance Memo

With President Obama’s veto of Congressional action seeking to bar the implementation of the NLRB’s proposed “ambush election” rules, unless a court enjoins the effective date of the rules in one (or both) of the lawsuits currently pending that challenge the rules, on April 14, new rules will go into effect governing the filing and processing … Continue Reading

President Obama Vetoes Senate Joint Resolution Disapproving NLRB’s New Union Election Rules

For only the fourth time in his presidency, on March 31, President Obama vetoed a joint resolution passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives that disapproved – and would have voided – the NLRB’s new union election rules.  (See our prior post summarizing the rules here.)  In a “Memorandum of Disapproval,” the President … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Issues Report Discussing Employer Handbook Policies

On March 18, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a lengthy report summarizing recent developments in the context of employer handbook policies.  As we have discussed in a number of our previous posts, over the past two years, the NLRB has been aggressively reviewing employer handbook policies addressing a variety … Continue Reading

Wisconsin Becomes 25th US State to Pass Right-to-Work Law

On March 9, Governor Scott Walker signed into law Wisconsin’s right-to-work legislation. Like other state right-to-work statutes, this law prohibits any private-sector Wisconsin employer from requiring that an employee be a member of, or pay dues to, a labor union as a condition of hire or continued employment. The law does not affect current collective … Continue Reading

A Busy Year at the National Labor Relations Board:  NLRB General Counsel Provides Charge, Petition, and Litigation Statistics for FY2014

At the March 4, 2015 session of the American Bar Association’s mid-winter meeting of the Committee on Development of the Law under the NLRA, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard Griffin disclosed detailed statistics regarding his office’s handling of unfair labor practice charge, representation case, and litigation matters during the Board’s 2014 fiscal year: … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision Affecting Retiree Benefits

From Greg Viviani via our Global Compensation Insights blog: In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for many employers to re-examine their ability to alter or amend retiree benefit plans. The Court rejected a long-standing presumption in the Sixth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, … Continue Reading

End of the Week Roundup – Paid Sick Leave and 2014 Unionization Rates

Two brief items to pass along as we head into the weekend: In his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Obama urged passage of the Healthy Families Act, a measure that would require private sector US employers to allow employees to accrue up to seven paid sick days per year (see our … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Says NLRB Improperly Evaluated Employer’s Company Hat-Only Uniform Policy

It is a long-established principal that under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to wear union insignia on their work uniforms, unless doing so would present special circumstances, such as a safety hazard. It is equally established that employers may require that employees wear certain apparel as part of an approved work … Continue Reading

Psst…did you hear? NLRB OKs employer’s “no gossip” rule.

As anyone following the goings-on at the National Labor Relations Board over the past few years knows, the Board has been aggressively fly-specking employer policies, finding seemingly innocuous and business-sensible employee conduct rules to unlawfully infringe on employees’ rights.  For example, in the past year, the NLRB has issued decisions finding unlawful policies that sought … Continue Reading
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