Posts Tagged ‘National Labor Relations Board’

Labor roundup

  • Great moments in public employee unionism, cont’d: D.C. Metro track inspector charged after derailment with falsifying records wins reinstatement and back pay in arbitration [Max Smith, WTOP, earlier here (similar after fatal smoke incident) and here] Could be permanent? “Bus drivers’ union threatens strike over driverless buses” [Jason Aubry, WCMH (Columbus, Ohio)]
  • Letting guests skip housekeeping = grievance: “Union Threatens Strike over Marriott’s Green Initiative” [Darrell VanDeusen, Kollman & Saucier]
  • Stephen Bainbridge series on what’s wrong with Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposals [earlier, etc.] continues with a post on labor co-determination and employee involvement in corporate governance;
  • “Public Sector Unions Win Big at the California Supreme Court: California citizens must now meet and confer with union bosses before qualifying any compensation-related initiatives for the ballot.” [Steven Greenhut, Reason]
  • My Frederick News Post letter to the editor opposing Question D (mandatory binding arbitration and collective bargaining for career firefighters). More on mandatory binding arbitration in the public sector: Ivan Osorio et al on California, for Cato (see pp. 12 et seq.); Steve Eide, Public Sector Inc., 2013.
  • “Waikiki, Hawaii hotel workers decline to join union; the union demands they pay full dues anyway, starts process to garnish their wages. Does the union’s conduct amount to an unfair labor practice? NLRB: No, the union made an honest mistake. D.C. Circuit: That ‘makes no sense.’ The union never apologized or said it made a mistake. Its message to the workers was, ‘We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way.'” [John Kenneth Ross, IJ “Short Circuit”]

Labor and employment roundup

  • “For years, a Texas electric utility company and its union feuded over the installation of automated smart meters; the company wanted them; the union didn’t, fearing they would put meter-readers out of work. A repairman for the company testifies to state legislators that the smart meters are combustion prone and damaging homes. Company: Which isn’t true. You’re fired. NLRB: Can’t fire him. His testimony was protected union activity. D.C Circuit: Maybe not. We’re very deferential to the Board, but even so, the NLRB’s reasoning here is ‘too opaque.'” [John Kenneth Ross, Short Circuit, on Oncor v. NLRB]
  • May Day replay: What happened at the Haymarket Affair? [John J. Miller] A Wikipedia footnote [Timothy Messer-Kruse, Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • Decline in number of U.S. manufacturing jobs is not owing to decline in unionization [Colin Grabow, Cato]
  • More for the “I thought contractual non-union arbitration was just a racket to benefit employers” files [Eric B. Meyer, Employer Handbook (prospective “tsunami” of arbitration claims against chain restaurant); Daniel Schwartz (exotic dancers win big in private arbitration)]
  • “Regulating the Modern Workforce,” Federalist Society Regulatory Transparency Project symposium video with James C. Cooper, Clark Neily, Ryan Nunn, Gabriel Scheffler, John Yun;
  • “Consumers do not have the option of abandoning unionized public services if they become too expensive and inefficient, as they can do with unionized services in the private sector.” [Chris Edwards, Cato on Janus v. AFSCME]

Labor law roundup

  • “I’m lovin’ it: McDonald’s settles joint employer case with NLRB” [Jon Hyman] Will NLRB junk its joint employer doctrine once and for all? [Scott Shackford, Reason, in December] String of welcome NLRB rulings on other topics in late 2017 [Sharon Block, On Labor, who should not be held responsible for my evaluation of the decisions as welcome] More: Connor Wolf, Inside Sources;
  • Union opt-out window at U.S. Dept. of Education will be open more than one 48-hour period per year [Frederick Hess and Grant Addison, AEI] Spot the logical flaw: claim that Janus and Masterpiece Cakeshop cases could combine to create new First Amendment right for public school teachers to strike [Andrew Strom, On Labor]
  • Eighth Circuit: federal labor law doesn’t protect workers against firing over IWW flyer-posting campaign falsely claiming restaurant’s food is unsafe IWW black cat[Daniel Pasternak, Employment Law Worldview; earlier here and here on Jimmy John’s/MikLin dispute]
  • Mark Pulliam remembers a giant of labor law, Prof. Sylvester Petro [Misrule of Law]
  • In Britain, Royal Mail cooperates with some of its union locals after they vote not to deliver Mr. Murdoch’s Sun paper to homes [Adam Withnall, Independent]
  • One libertarian economist’s view of right to work laws [David R. Henderson] Municipal home rule ventures into labor regulation can work both ways: “Local Right-to-Work Case Has National Implications” [Connor Wolf, Inside Sources on Lincolnshire, Ill. RTW ordinance before Seventh Circuit]

February 28 roundup

“NLRB restores sanity to its rules on employee handbooks and joint employment”

Some seriously good news, finally, from the National Labor Relations Board, which had hurtled left in recent years but now has a majority of Republican appointees: 1) it overturned its notorious Browning-Ferris rule, which had threatened to impose liability on companies allegedly responsible for the working conditions of employees of other firms, as in franchise and outsourcing contexts; 2) it announced in Boeing Co. that it would drop a standard under which it had found unlawful, as interferences with NLRA rights of collective action, various widely used employer handbook policies on subjects “from confidentiality, to insubordination, to the use of company logos, to photography bans, and to conflict-of-interest rules.” [Jon Hyman]

Employer actions to curb sexual harassment might violate National Labor Relations Act

“EEOC recently announced the availability of ‘respectful workplace’ training, which [prompted a] concern about whether overly prescriptive rules about workplace behavior (like “no negativity” mandates) might chill workers’ NLRA rights.” NLRB rulings in recent years have included protecting workers in some circumstances from being disciplined for cussing out their bosses, and the NLRB has announced the employer policies against negativity and gossip may also violate the law. At the same time, tolerating hostile and personal talk can expose an employer to liability under harassment law. The agencies are hoping to work out the contradictions among themselves. [Kate Tornone, HR Dive]

The battle to overturn the NLRB’s joint employer rule

“The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill by a vote of 242-181 on Nov. 7 that would require a business to exercise direct control of another entity to be considered a joint employer. If also passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president, the Save Local Business Act would legislatively overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries decision, which ruled that entities may be joint employers even if one exercises only indirect or potential control over the other.” [Allen Smith, SHRM] Under Browning-Ferris, “franchisors and companies that employ subcontractors and temporary staffing agencies may frequently be regarded as ‘joint employers’ of franchise and subcontractor employees” and held legally responsible for their treatment [National Right To Work, quotes me] Business, horrified by the rule, has made its overthrow a major priority [Connor Wolf/Inside Sources, Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner and more] Earlier here, here, etc.

Waivers of class actions against employers

The Supreme Court will resolve a circuit court split on whether employment agreements under which workers agree to “arbitrate disputes with their employers individually, rather than bringing class-action lawsuits collectively with their co-workers, are valid….In an unusual twist, the administration will face off against an independent agency of the federal government, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).” [Lawrence Hurley and Robert Iafolla, Reuters, earlier here, here, here, and arbitration generally] Monday was oral argument on the trio of Murphy Oil, Ernst & Young, and Epic Systems [Amy Howe, transcript]

Labor law roundup

Eighth Circuit: employer may not dismiss over picket-line racial slurs

In strike situations, the law can wind up getting flipped on the question of when an employer may or must dismiss an employee for racial slurs that create a hostile environment. An Eighth Circuit panel in Cooper Tire v. NLRB, over a dissent from Judge C. Arlen Beam, approved a court’s decision overturning an arbitrator’s ruling and reinstating the offending worker who had yelled the slurs at replacement workers. More: Terry Carter, ABA Journal.