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Labor Relations Today

Category Archives: Unfair Labor Practices

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FairPoint Communications Declares Impasse In Bargaining

Posted in Negotiations, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
FairPoint Communications has announced that it has declared impasse in its negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) after contract negotiations between the parties failed to produce an agreement.  Accordingly, FairPoint will now begin unilaterally implementing the terms of its most recent contract offer to the union.  FairPoint will begin moving its current … Continue Reading

Employers Face High Hurdle To Show Employee Communications Concerning Labor Disputes Unprotected

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s decision that a Jimmy John’s franchisor violated the National Labor Relations Act for disciplining and discharging several employees who were engaged in protected and concerted activity. In MikLin Enterprises, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 27 (Aug. 21, 2014), the Board determined that Respondent MikLin … Continue Reading

Federal District Court Begrudgingly Enforces “Overly Broad and Unfocused” NLRB Subpoenas

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, Subpoenas, Unfair Labor Practices
On August 22, 2014, United States District Court Judge Arthur J. Schwab granted the National Labor Relations Board’s application to enforce three subpoenas served on UPMC in an unfair labor practice case despite the fact that the subpoenas were overly “broad and unfocused.” The underlying unfair labor practice stemmed from a union organizing drive at UPMC … Continue Reading

Board Orders Reinstatement and Backpay of Employee Due To ‘Zero Tolerance’ Inconsistency

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Remedies, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
This past Monday, the National Labor Relations Board reversed an Administrative Law Judge’s decision and held that Nichols Aluminum, LLC had unlawfully discharged an employee in violation of the National Labor Relations Act because he engaged in concerted and protected activity.  In Nichols Aluminum, LLC, 361 NLRB No. 22 (August 18, 2014), Nichols’ longtime employee … Continue Reading

Board Circles Back To Ruling Nixed By Noel Canning

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Remedies, Unfair Labor Practices
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board circled back to a decision that was invalidated by the Supreme Court’s blockbuster Noel Canning decision.  As the reader may recall, Noel Canning determined that President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board did not pass Constitutional muster.  Accordingly, the decisions issued by the improperly-constituted Board … Continue Reading

Co. Sues Board For Exceeding Authority

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Sanderson Farms Inc. filed a complaint in federal district court in Mississippi against the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, alleging that the Board exceeded its authority by continuing to pursue unfair labor practice charges against Sanderson even though the charging party withdrew them.  Local 693 of the Laborers International Union of North America AFL-CIO … Continue Reading

New Vista, NLRB Square Off In 3d Circuit

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation LC filed an Answer to a National Labor Relations Board brief last week in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the court should decline the Board’s invitation to revisit a previous ruling denying the NLRB’s bargaining order.  The current dispute before the court stems from a July 2013 rehearing request from … Continue Reading

LaVerne Adjuncts Pull Election Petition

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Representation Elections, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Earlier this week, union organizers working with adjunct professors at LaVerne University in California made the unusual move to withdraw their petition for a representation election.  The adjuncts actually held an election, which was supervised by the National Labor Relations Board in February of this year.  However, the votes were initially impounded and have yet … Continue Reading

ALJ Nixes UnitedHealth Arbitration Pact

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Remedies, Unfair Labor Practices
National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge Raymond P. Green concluded that UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s enforcement of an employee arbitration agreement violated the National Labor Relations Act.  The company ran afoul of the law by forcing its employees to arbitrate their wage-and-hour claims against the company as individuals when the employees attempted to bring a … Continue Reading

Union Files ULP Charge Against Guitar Center

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Earlier this week, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Guitar Center.  The complaint alleges that Guitar Center has bargained in bad faith and has also sought to punish its employees for organizing. The RWDSU began organizing efforts at a host of Guitar Center … Continue Reading

Board Orders Make Whole Remedy After Employee’s Weingarten Rights Violated

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Decisions, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board upheld and Administrative Law Judge’s determination that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act by terminating an employee who refused to take a drug test before being allowed to speak to a union representative.  In Ralph’s Grocery, 361 NLRB No. 9 (July 31, 2014), an employee of … Continue Reading

Locked Out Kelloggs Employees Win Right To Return To Work

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, Negotiations, NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Remedies, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Samuel Mays ordered that Kelloggs must immediately end its lock out of 220 workers at its Memphis, TN plant.  The Judge’s Order provides that Kelloggs made use of “creative semantics” to make changes to its collective bargaining agreement with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (the Union).  … Continue Reading

Board ALJ Nixes Mercedes’ Handbook Policy

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge determined that Mercedes-Benz’s employee handbook contained an overly broad and unlawful policy.  The complaint brought by the United Auto Workers (UAW) alleged that the policy, which prohibited employees from passing out nonwork-related notices during work time or in working areas, violated the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading

Top 10 NLRB Issues to Monitor the Rest of the Year

Posted in Expedited Elections, Micro Units, NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Administration, NLRB Decisions, NLRB Misc., NLRB Rule-Making, Presidential Appointments, Representation Elections, SCOTUS, Unfair Labor Practices
459895879UPDATED: JULY 29, 2014 1.  Aftermath of Noel Canning The Supreme Court determined in late June of this year that President Obama’s purported recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.  Hundreds, or potentially even thousands, of Board decisions issued by the improperly-constituted Board could be affected by the Court’s ruling.  Administrative actions … Continue Reading

Board Investigating McDonalds For ULPs

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
The Huffington Post reports that the National Labor Relations Board has opened an investigation into whether a McDonalds franchise violated the National Labor Relations Act for terminating nine workers for allegedly supporting an employee unionization effort.  The Fast Food Workers Committee, an outside labor organization representing the fired workers, claims that nine McDonalds franchise employees … Continue Reading

Board Judge: Becker’s Appointment Valid

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices
This past week, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge determined that a sushi manufacturer violated the National Labor Relations Act by seeking to compel individual arbitration proceedings of a wage-and-hour class action brought by a former employee.  In his decision, Judge Wedekind determined that Fuji Food Products had run afoul of the NLRB’s … Continue Reading

NLRB Regional Director Dismisses ULP Charge Against Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority

Posted in Duty to Bargain, NLRA, Quick Hits, State/Local Issues, Unfair Labor Practices
The Inquirer reports that Dennis P. Walsh, the Regional Director for Region 4 of the National Labor Relations Board, dismissed a charge filed by the Carpenters and Teamsters unions alleging that the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority engaged in bad faith bargaining. In his decision dismissing the charge, Mr. Walsh stated that the unions provided evidence “supporting … Continue Reading

Board ALJ Finds Union Buttons Lawful

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Wedekind ruled that employees at Pauma Casino in San Diego County, CA were allowed to wear pro-Union buttons while on the clock.  The decision held that Pauma Casino further violated the National Labor Relations Act by prohibiting its employees from wearing the buttons, which professed allegiance to … Continue Reading

Board Pushes OK Foods For Re-Run Election

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Representation Elections, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, the director of the National Labor Relations Board’s region 14 sent a letter to OK Foods stating that the Board will issue a formal complaint against OK Foods if the chicken-processer does not allow a re-run election.  The letter provided that the Board has received 18 separate allegations that management officials committed unfair … Continue Reading

NLRB ALJ Addresses Employer Obligation to Bargain Over Discretionary Disciplinary Action

Posted in Duty to Bargain, NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
dv496065aIn Alan Ritchey, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 40 (2012), the National Labor Relations Board held that during the period after a union is recognized but before a first contract is reached, an employer must bargain with the union before exercising its discretion to impose certain discipline such as suspensions, demotions, or discharges. However, the Board held … Continue Reading

MN Charter School Unionizes

Posted in NLRA, Quick Hits, Representation Elections, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Earlier this week, @LRToday reported on a union vote at St. Paul’s Community School of Excellence in St. Paul, MN.  In an unsurprising development, teachers and faculty at the charter school have voted to join the Education Minnesota labor union.  In a short statement, an Education Minnesota official told reporters that the vote had been … Continue Reading

Board GC Hints At Big Changes

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
This past Friday, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. participated in a conference on labor relations law at New York University School of Law.  During the conference GC Griffin made several comments that should make labor counsel sit up and take notice.  During his remarks, Griffin made it clear that one … Continue Reading