Posts Tagged ‘labor unions’

Labor and the federal courts roundup

  • “Labor law in America has reached the absurd point where the NLRB is taking the position that a company can’t tell its employees to have a positive attitude” [Ira Stoll on Trader Joe’s controversy, following on T-Mobile case last April, earlier on predecessor 2014 decision in Hills and Dales General Hospital]
  • Judge Janice Rogers Brown, writing for D.C. Circuit, rips NLRB for “abusive tactics and extremism.” orders it to pay employer’s attorney fees [Jon Hyman, David Leishman and Seth Borden, McGuire Woods Labor Relations Today (citing Board’s “nonacquiescence” policy), opinion in Heartland Plymouth Court MI, LLC v. NLRB]
  • Quoting John Ross’s Short Circuit: Illinois telephone company “may not have violated the rights of striking worker (who allegedly followed a non-striker onto the highway, cut him off, slowed down, and did not allow him to pass) by firing her, says the D.C. Circuit. Concurring in her own opinion, Judge Millett reprimands the NLRB for long countenancing strikers’ sexually and racially demeaning behavior.” More on Millett’s concurrence in Consolidated Communications v. NLRB: Jon Hyman, and more on the case itself from the U.S. Chamber;
  • Also quoting Short Circuit: “After discussions with NLRB, Norwood, Mass. car dealership revises employee handbook. NLRB: The new dress code, which prohibits some employees from wearing ‘pins, insignias, or other message clothing,’ still restricts labor rights. First Circuit: Just so. Dissent: Pity employers who want their employees to look nice. “[T]he Board and the courts have lured businesses into a legal bog.'”
  • Congress hasn’t passed ENDA. Will courts approve EEOC’s scheme of cobbling it together virtually from other legal materials? [ABA Journal, Will Baude and more, Eugene Volokh on Seventh Circuit argument]
  • California agricultural-labor law creates a right to trespass for union organizers. Help, Ninth Circuit! [Ilya Shapiro and Frank Garrison]

Labor roundup

  • Want or need to contract out of the rules set by Seattle’s new worker-scheduling ordinance? You’ll have to unionize. Cute, no? [Bruce M. Cross et al., Perkins Coie] Also in Seattle: ostensible safety initiative aims to force hotels to unionize, would require blacklisting of guests even absent legal complaint [Carla Murray, CrossCut]
  • “NLRB GC now wants to legalize intermittent and partial strikes” [Michael VanDervort]
  • Boston city hall to private firms: nice little outfit you got there, shame if it didn’t unionize [Steve Malanga, earlier here, here on alleged extortion scheme]
  • Less a university and more a shop floor: NLRB ruling on teaching/research assistants did more harm than good [Jon Hyman, earlier here, here]
  • NLRB makes it as quick and easy as it can for workers to join a union. But should they wish instead to leave… [Diana Furchtgott-Roth]
  • “Will NLRB’s New ‘Joint Employer’ Standard Discourage Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives?” [Seth Borden]

Labor and employment roundup

  • “This One Simple Trick — Used by Colin Kaepernick — Will Make It Harder To Fire You” [Coyote] And on the topic of retaliation, Obama administration appointeees have been revising doctrine in a direction sharply unfavorable to employers both at the EEOC and at OSHA, the latter of which has legal authority to enforce the retaliation provisions of many laws like Dodd-Frank unrelated to conventional occupational hazard [Jon Hyman on EEOC and OSHA]
  • In $5 million award, Texas jury finds SEIU playbook on janitors’ campaign encouraged lawbreaking disruption of target business and its clients [Jon Cassidy and Charles Blain, WSJ]
  • Obama administration’s new blacklisting rule on labor violations gives unions a whip hand in negotiations with federal contractors, as if by design [Marc Freedman, U.S. Chamber]
  • Finally, a state appellate court pokes a hole in the bizarre California Rule under which public employers may not reduce future pension benefits even when based on work not yet performed [Dan Walters/Sacramento Bee, Scott Shackford, Reason]
  • Hearing over expanding employment-law damages in Colorado highlights shift in EEO law toward goal of money extraction [Merrily Archer]
  • Post-Friedrichs, the future of mandatory union dues in public employment [Federalist Society podcast with Scott Kronland and William Messenger] “Big Labor Tries To Eliminate Right-To-Work By Lawsuit” [George Leef]

September 14 roundup

Great moments in public employee unionism, cont’d

“Metro is fighting its largest union, which has sued to reinstate a tunnel fan inspector who was fired after last year’s L’Enfant Plaza smoke disaster for allegedly falsifying an inspection report and later lying about his actions.” The lethal smoke incident killed one rider “and injured dozens more.” [Martine Powers, Washington Post, earlier]

Labor and employment roundup

  • “Clusters” of nursing employees “standing around and ‘chitchatting’ about their concern that their cars would be damaged if they voted against union representation.” D.C. Circuit rejects NLRB position that talk of tire-slashing by union backer known to have “been in violent altercations in the past, and [sporting current] hand injury from a knife fight” was harmless joking [John Ross, Short Circuit on Manorcare of Kingston v. NLRB]
  • Karma stalks #FightFor15, SEIU: “Union protested by its own minimum wage organizers” [Sean G. Higgins]
  • Feds raid powerful Philadelphia construction union boss, allies [Jillian Kay Melchior, Heat Street, Philadelphia Daily News, NBC Philadelphia, earlier Melchior on role of John (“Johnny Doc”) Dougherty in enactment of city’s soda tax]
  • “A New Illegal Interview Question: How Much Did You Earn In Your Last Job?” [Evil HR Lady on just-passed Massachusetts law]
  • “You have the right to replace striking workers, right?” [Jon Hyman]
  • Hillary Clinton now hinting at increased federal control over labor markets as a centerpiece of economic policy if elected [John Cochrane]

Labor roundup

  • Huffington Post writer lauds alleged Boston city hall union extortion scheme as in “pursuit of progressive social goals”. More: Peter Ubertaccio on U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz;
  • As NLRB continues leftward march, new ruling will corral more temporary workers into unions [Industry Week]
  • “Bloated, Broke, and Bullied: Mired in debt and strong-armed by its unions, the Port Authority [of NY and NJ] lavishes outlandish pay and benefits on its workforce.” [Steve Malanga, City Journal]
  • “Blistering” 13-page dissent in Schwan’s Home Service: “NLRB Member Philip Miscimarra is mad as hell about the Board’s current position on employee-handbook policies and protected concerted activity” [Jon Hyman]
  • For decades, until the Reagan administration, federal labor law banned home knitting as an organized commercial activity. During much of the same period Great Britain was proud of its equivalent [1947 Home Industries Exposition via Jot101]
  • They’ll be watching you: more on Philadelphia union drones [Connor Wolf/Daily Caller, earlier]

Federal judge halts Labor Department “persuader” rule

“Calling the Department of Labor’s new interpretation of its LMRDA Persuader Rule ‘defective to its core,’ the District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction” against the Final Rule published on March 24, 2016.” [Labor Relations Today, earlier] We summarized the regulations early on:

New Department of Labor regulations will require, on pain of serious criminal penalties, regular disclosures by lawyers, consultants, advisers, website developers, P.R. firms, pollsters and many others whose activities might persuade employees not to sign union cards. (Current regulations require disclosures only regarding consultants who actually meet with employees, as opposed to generating information that might reach them.)

The result would be not only to put we-know-where-you-live intimidation pressure on a much wider range of persons, and create many new tripwires for damaging liability, but also imperil attorney-client privilege, as with a provision demanding that attorneys disclose relationships with other clients.