Posts Tagged ‘labor unions’

Discrimination law roundup

  • More boxes get banned: Connecticut measure will ban asking age on job applications [Daniel Schwartz]
  • In closely divided en banc ruling, Ninth Circuit rules it cruel and unusual punishment for prison authorities to deny inmate sex-reassignment surgery [en banc opinion and panel decision; Josh Blackman on a dissent authored by Judge Patrick Bumatay; I was quoted last year in public radio coverage of the Adree Edmo case]
  • “Fear And Loathing At The Department Of Labor: Has The OFCCP Become A Law Unto Itself?” [Cory Andrews, WLF, more]
  • “Look for the Union Label, not the Gender Role” [Sarah Skwire]
  • Freedom means freedom for everyone: joined by Prof. Eugene Volokh, Cato files First Amendment amicus brief on behalf of Colorado graphic/web designer who objects to working on same-sex weddings [Ilya Shapiro and James Knight on 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, Tenth Circuit]
  • CBS News misrepresents the state of pregnancy-accommodation law in the workplace [Jon Hyman]

Labor and employment roundup

  • Politicaly effective or not, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s debate attack on Mike Bloomberg over non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) was simplistic, and that’s putting it diplomatically [Robin Shea]
  • West Coast longshore union braces for bankruptcy [Richard Read, Los Angeles Times]
  • An issue to watch carefully: most Democratic White House contenders support labor law changes to introduce “sectoral bargaining,” which ropes employers into all-for-one industry-wide negotiations like it or not [Sharon Block and Benjamin Sachs, On Labor, approving of this idea]
  • “Arbitration in the MeToo Era,” Federalist Society panel discussion with Paul Clement, Alexander Colvin, Deepak Gupta, Andrew Pincus, moderated by Hon. Joan Larsen;
  • Chilling effect: employers fear being hit with unfair labor practices claims if they say things that 1) are true and 2) would be helpful for workers to know [Cato Daily Podcast with Ken Girardin and Caleb Brown]
  • “Chipotle Wants Sick Employees to Verify with a Nurse. This is a Very Pro-Employee Move.” [Suzanne Lucas, Inc.]

Public university professor: First Amendment should bar required union representation

In the 2018 Janus decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects individual public employees from having to financially support unions to which they do not wish to belong. But labor law continues to require “exclusive representation”; individual public employees may not bargain on their own behalf in place of the designated union, nor may they enlist a different union to represent their interests. (Meanwhile, and also problematically, incumbent unions are tasked with a legal duty to represent individual employees even if they reject membership and decline to pay dues.) Jonathan Reisman is an economics professor at the University of Maine-Machias who does not wish to be represented by the recognized faculty union, which he does not believe represents his own priorities either on work-specific issues such as wages and schedules or on public policy more broadly. Reisman is now seeking Supreme Court review of his action seeking relief from exclusive representation on First Amendment grounds [Trevor Burrus and Michael Collins on Cato certiorari amicus brief in Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine]

September 20 roundup

  • Oregon: “Union-Backed Ballot Initiative Would Limit Grocery Stores to 2 Self-Checkout Machines” [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
  • Not unexpectedly, given its own precedent, Ninth Circuit rules Idaho inmate entitled to sex reassignment surgery [Amanda Peacher and James Dawson, NPR; pre-ruling (July) KRCC/NPR podcast and interview with Peacher, I’m quoted as in earlier coverage; earlier]
  • I wrote a personal recollection at Cato of philanthropist David Koch;
  • “Flight attendants and airport staff now get trained to intervene in what federal officials (falsely) portray as an epidemic of airline-based sex trafficking which can be spotted by good Samaritans who know the ‘signs.'” And mistakes will happen [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason]
  • Population growth has caused the Ninth Circuit to bulge at the seams. Left-right political advantage isn’t a good reason to break it up, but there are plenty of nonpolitical reasons that are good [Ilya Shapiro and Nathan Harvey, George Mason Law Review]
  • “The legal profession was regarded by both the authors of The Federalist and Alexis de Tocqueville as the anchor of the republic —- a barrier to destabilizing innovation and a constraint on excessive democratic passions.” What happened? [John McGinnis]

Public employment roundup

The Boston squeeze

Earlier this month a federal jury found two Boston city hall officials guilty of conspiracy to commit extortion after prosecutors proved that they told a concert promoter that unless it hired members of a union that had supported Mayor Marty Walsh, it wouldn’t get a permit for its event. [Jerome Campbell, WBUR, AP/CBS Boston, earlier here, here, here]

So far, so Boston. Even more characteristic of the city’s political culture: ten Boston city councilors put out a statement decrying the verdict. The really perfect touch? “Some 70 nonprofit organizations, representing environmental, LGBTQ, housing, senior, education, and civil rights advocates,” have also denounced the verdict, claiming that it interferes with “democracy.”

Veteran Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi calls it “bizarre” for these groups to “condon[e] threats from city officials as an acceptable standard for doing business in Boston”:

Supporters of Brissette and Sullivan argue that the case criminalizes advocacy. Suggesting that concert organizers hire union help might qualify as simple advocacy. But organizers of the Boston Calling concert were basically told there would be no permit unless they hired union labor. That’s wrong, and Brissette and Sullivan knew it. Joe Rull, the city’s former chief of operations, who testified under a grant of immunity, told the court that when Brissette wanted to employ that hardball tactic during a previous disagreement concerning the use of nonunion production workers he told him, “You can’t do that, it’s not legal.”

More from Josh McCabe:

Land use and zoning roundup

  • NYC landmark decree will strangle famed Strand used bookstore, says owner [Nancy Bass Wyden, New York Daily News, Nick Gillespie, Reason, earlier] NIMBY resistance to Dupont Circle project behind Masonic Temple insists on preserving views that weren’t there until fairly recently [Nick Sementelli, Greater Greater Washington]
  • “Barcelona city hall has finally issued a work permit for the unfinished church designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí, 137 years after construction started on the Sagrada Família basilica.” [AP/Guardian] At least they’re not in one of the American towns and cities that would make them tear down work outside the scope of permit before proceeding;
  • FHA lending tilts heavily toward detached single-family housing over condos, encouraging sprawl [Scott Beyer]
  • “San Francisco’s Regulations Are the Cause of Its Housing Crisis” [Beyer]
  • “What Should I Read to Understand Zoning?” [Nolan Gray, Market Urbanism]
  • I think we can all guess which union was not cut into a share of the work in this Bay Area housing development [Jennifer Wadsworth, San Jose Inside (Laborers union files CEQA suit), Christian Britschgi, Reason]

Labor and employment roundup

  • “Your license is gone, your livelihood is gone, the care of your patients is gone. How fair is that?” Opposition grows to policy of yanking occupational licenses over unpaid student loans [Marc Hyden and Shoshana Weissman, Governing; Nick Sibilla, Forbes]
  • Los Angeles ballot measure was billed as advancing affordable housing, but prevailing-wage provisions helped ensure that it didn’t [Steven Sharp, Urbanize Los Angeles]
  • Not mad at Jon Hyman for advising client employers to avoid legal risk by not employing released sex offenders, just mad at the policymakers who play to the cheap seats by perpetuating the casual cruelties of the offender registry laws;
  • “International programs demonstrate that paid leave benefits grow substantially over time, similar to other government entitlement programs.” [Vanessa Brown Calder, Cato; more Calder on paid leave mandates here, here, and (roundtable conversation) here (from last fall) and here; Emily Ekins, Cato and more (depth of public support depends on assumptions about impact on pay and women’s career prospects); Veronique de Rugy (why are conservatives supporting?)]
  • Frankfurter and Greene’s 1930 book The Labor Injunction, one of the most influential books ever about American labor law, prepared the ground for the New Deal’s Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act. How accurately did it portray the labor injunctions of its day? [Mark Pulliam, Law and Liberty]
  • “What Will the E-Verify Program Be Used to Surveil Next?” [David Bier, Cato via David Henderson]