Trade Unions

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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

Another early holiday gift to labor from the NLRB: Board implements final “ambush” election rule

On the heels of its decision requiring employers to permit employees with access to employer email systems to use those systems to send emails concerning non-business related matters, including union organizing and other communications concerning terms and conditions of employment (for example, soliciting support for wage and hour class actions) – see our post here on … Continue Reading

NLRB Grants Employees the Right to Use Employer Email Systems for Non-Business Purposes

Today, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its 2007 decision in Register-Guard [pdf] and held in Purple Communications, Inc. [pdf] that employers that provide employees with access to employer email systems for business-related purposes must permit employees to also use those email systems for non-business related communications, such as union organizing and other communications protected under the National Labor … Continue Reading

Increased information obligations to employees in French company takeovers threaten transaction confidentiality

France has recently introduced new rules obliging smaller companies to provide increased information to their employees regarding prospective takeovers and ownership changes and also regarding opportunities for the staff to make acquisition offers themselves. The laws are a part of the Lois sur l’économie sociale et solidaire,a scheme of reforms designed to strengthen economic social … Continue Reading

NLRB Launches New Website On Concerted Protected Activity

As most employers know particularly from the NLRB’s recent activity in the area of social media as previously reported here, the National Labor Relations Act protects concerted activities of employees—not just union organizing or representation activity.  Specifically, the NLRA provides that: “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, … Continue Reading

The NLRB’s “Ambush Election” Rule Is Now In Effect

On December 22, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) adopted a final rule which significantly modified, in certain respects, the procedure for processing representation petitions. The “ambush election” rule, which represents a scaled back version of a more comprehensive overhaul of election procedures proposed by the Board in June 2011, went into effect on … Continue Reading

Federal Courts Deal Setbacks to NLRB’s Notice Posting Rule–Employer Posting Requirement Enjoined

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina late last week decided that that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) exceeded its statutory authority when it promulgated its much debated notice-posting rule.  While this decision was a setback to the agency’s efforts to require employers to post a notice informing employees of their … Continue Reading

Court Upholds NLRB Order Employer Posting Requirement (But Strikes Down Penalty Rule)

On March 2, Judge Amy Berman of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the NLRB has the authority to promulgate the rule it adopted last year (previously commented on here) which will require employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.  After … Continue Reading

President Obama Makes NLRB Appointments

On January 4, 2011, President Obama announced that he was using his recess appointment powers to place Department of Labor Attorney Sharon Block (democrat), labor lawyer Richard Griffin (democrat), and NLRB counsel Terence Flynn (republican) to the NLRB (“Board”).  The timing of the appointments was strategic as current board member Craig Becker’s term was set … Continue Reading

Ohio Voters Repeal Senate Bill 5

On November 8, 2011, voters overwhelmingly rejected issue 2 which was a ballot referendum on Senate Bill 5 that, if enacted, would have significantly changed collective bargaining in Ohio.  Union organizers and democratic leaders view the victory as a loud message to Governor Kasich that Ohioans strongly support union negotiations.  In addition, the opponents of … Continue Reading

NLRB Posting Requirement Postponed

The National Labor Relations Board won’t require employers to implement new posting requirements on November 14.  Instead, employers will have until January 31, 2012 — over a two month extension. Will the new posting requirements, as previously reported, go away completely? Probably not.  Although the NLRB extended the deadline, particularly to give medium and small … Continue Reading

Another Posting For Employers: New NLRB Posting Obligation for Employers

Effective November 14, 2011, private employers will be required to post a workplace notice of employee rights under the National Labor Rights Act. The posting requirement is intended to inform all employees of their rights under the NLRA and is patterned, in part, after the posting requirements of the FLSA, the FMLA and the recent … Continue Reading

Have you ever seen The Rat?

It’s a giant 16-foot balloon in the shape of a rat, and it is becomingly increasingly common in labor disputes. Unions display the giant balloon as a way of informing the public of their dissatisfaction with the targeted employer, i.e., the “rat employer”. But should it be viewed legally as a picket? The question is quite an … Continue Reading

Should US Employers Write Off the Unions?

Two years ago I was leading webinars and roundtables about the potential passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.  Today, some US employers have a union organizing campaign at the bottom of their worries.  The pendulum has swung once again, and unions appear to be losing ground. If you’re watching the stand off in Wisconsin or … Continue Reading