Labor and employment roundup

  • After Harris v. Quinn, states and unions begin dropping mandatory dues collection for home health carers [Michigan Capitol Confidential, Fox; my two cents at Free State Notes on Maryland’s heel-dragging]
  • Macy’s in suburban Boston is opening target for NLRB bid to install gerrymandered “micro-unions” [The Hill, earlier here, etc.]
  • Federal contractors to fork over pay demographics, the better to be sued [Department of Labor]
  • Speaking of the barrage of executive orders coming out of the White House, it’s beyond silly to pretend that all the costly new employment mandates will promote “efficiency and cost savings” [Coyote]
  • “Gay Christian conservative employee sues gay bar for sexual, religious harassment” [Volokh]
  • “House Hearing Highlights Problems in the Fair Labor Standards Act” [Alex Bolt]
  • “Forcing Kids to Do Chores Not a Federal Crime” [Courthouse News, Volokh]


  • Re Macy’s “micro units:” This is really not a surprise to those of us who have a long memory, as for over 40 years the activist NLRB has chipped away at department store units. I was with the NLRB in the 60’s, during the Kennedy-Johnson era when they were finding units of “selling” and “non-selling” employees, i.e., separating sales clerks from stock employees in Allied Stores of Paramus, and Lord & Taylors. I also was the hearing officer in Bambergers Paramus when the Board granted separate unit status to the Auto Centers. (That case had special handling when a directive came from Washington to send petition for that unit to hearing despite the fact the Region had dismissed an identical petition that the Teamsters had previously filed. The instruction were to bypass the Regional Director’s decision making authority and send the record directly to Washington.
    Also, if you delve into the situation dating back to the 30’s, you will find that many department stores under units owing their origin had many micro units under their roofs. You’d find units confined to Misses and Ladies Shoes, Men’s Shoes, Window Decorators, Stock Handlers, Deliverymen, etc. In Variety Stores (Woolworth, Kresge, S H Kress, etc., there could be found units restricted to the soda fountains among others.
    To an old Labor lawyer such as me, this does not come as a surprise, given the low percentage of private sector employees who are union members, and retailers will have to cope with this issue for the foreseeable future. The unions are ruining out of revenue sources, and the NLRB out of things to do to justify its existence.

  • I read somewhere 10-20 years ago that Walmart does not carry fresh meat because, when they started up their grocery business, in-store butchers showed a propensity to vote for unions.

  • Walmart did in fact have a meat department organized, and went top prepackaged precut meat only, thereby removing the “craft” nucleus the NLRB used to justify the separate unit.

  • […] orders and particularly at the mercy of White House discretion, here and here, here, here, here, and generally at this new […]