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US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of July 12, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of July 12, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

No Summer Pause At The NLRB, As Changes At The Top Levels Of The Agency Are In Motion (US)

This summer has been an eventful one as far as it relates to high-level personnel matters at the National Labor Relations Board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Developments in the Office of the General Counsel As one of his first acts on Inauguration Day, President Biden fired Peter Robb, the Senate-confirmed General Counsel of the National … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of June 21, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of June 21, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … 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

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of March 29, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of March 29. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

President Biden Ousts NLRB General Counsel; Changes NLRB Chairman (US)

UPDATE (1/25/21): President Biden named Peter Sung Ohr as the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel. Mr. Ohr is a career NLRB employee, having held positions with the NLRB in Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and most recently, as the Regional Director for Region 13 in Chicago. UPDATE (1/21/21): Less than 24 hours after firing the top lawyer at … Continue Reading

NLRB Provides Much-Needed Reality Check, Lowers Barrier To Employers’ Ability To Discipline And Discharge Employees Who Engage In Arguably Protected, But Plainly Disruptive, Workplace Conduct (US)

An employee confronts you – a small business owner – and calls you a “f***ng mother f***cker,” a “f***ing crook,” an “a**hole,” and “stupid,” tells you that none of your employees like you and everyone talks about you behind your back, and warns you that you’ll regret firing him, if you do. Or you’re a … 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

NLRB Adopts A Bright-Line Rule Voiding Union Election Ballots With Stray Marks (US)

With almost all of the current news being focused on coronavirus-related topics, it’s easy to forget that courts and agencies continue to do their jobs, issuing decisions and opinions. On occasion, one of those decisions is significant enough to warrant a distraction from all things COVID-19. A recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) … Continue Reading

Navigating Employee Return-to-Work Issues (US)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order will expire. At that time, only a handful of states (Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) will still be under broad stay-at-home restrictions, but even those remaining states will begin the phased reopening process between May 15 and 30. As employers begin … Continue Reading

Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (US)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has changed life as we know it, including by severely disrupting business on a nationwide scale.  In some cases, employers have been forced to temporarily close their doors and cease operations, while others have had to make radical changes to the workplace in order to maintain operations. … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Suspends All Union Representation Elections (US)

In yet another sign of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 19, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) announced that all representation elections – secret ballot elections held to determine whether employees wish to be represented by a labor union – are  suspended, including mail ballot elections, until April 3, 2020.  … Continue Reading

WEBINAR 16 March 2020: Addressing Coronavirus Practically and Legally: What US Employers Need to Know

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), commonly known as the “coronavirus,” is now impacting employers all across the US.  Every organization should have a plan of action in place concerning the coronavirus as the threat of an outbreak at your workplace cannot be ignored. Please join us for a live webinar on Monday, March 16, 2020 … 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

NLRB’s LA Specialty Produce Decision Provides More Clarity on Employee Handbook Rule Standards (US)

On October 10, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision in LA Specialty Produce Company provided some employer-friendly clarification of its standard for assessing the lawfulness of employee handbook provisions under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), and in doing so, categorized two specific types of policies as generally lawful.  In this … Continue Reading

Summer Vacation Is Definitely Over At The NLRB (US)

Between August 29 and September 10, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued four decisions that resolve important issues that have been the subject of long-running disputes.  It also issued an invitation to submit briefs in a case that provides an opportunity for the current Board majority members to revise the standard for … 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 Announces New Rulemaking Priorities (US)

As a part of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (“Unified Agenda”) issued Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced its regulatory road map, indicating three areas of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) under which the agency intends to develop new or modified rules: access to 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
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