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Labor Relations Today

Category Archives: Unfair Labor Practices

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ALJ Strikes Down (Another) Workplace Civility Rule and Ban on Photographs at Las Vegas Casino

Posted in NLRA, Unfair Labor Practices, Workplace Rules
On September 26, 2016, an ALJ struck down several workplace rules at a casino in Las Vegas, including two rules that prohibited “inappropriate conduct” and taking photographs on the casino floor.  The ALJ found that, although the rules did not violate Section 7, a reasonable employee could interpret the rules as prohibiting them from engaging… Continue Reading

NLRB’s Coffin Corner Punt Pins Private Universities’ Sports Programs in Perilous Spot

Posted in NLRA, Social Media, Unfair Labor Practices
In an advice memorandum issued on September 22, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel declined to issue a complaint against Northwestern University for certain football team rules despite finding those rules violative of the National Labor Relations Act. Unlike the Board’s decision not to assert jurisdiction over the unionization effort of… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Scolds NLRB for ‘Bad Faith’, ‘Abusive Tactics’ and ‘Extremism’

Posted in Duty to Bargain, Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, NLRB
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a scathing rebuke to the National Labor Relations Board for “abusive tactics and extremism” and ordered the Board to pay an employer nearly $18,000 in legal fees incurred due to the Board’s “bad faith litigation” in Heartland Plymouth Court MI, LLC v.… Continue Reading

General Counsel Urges Board to Disallow Permanent Replacements During Economic Strikes, Absent Employer Proof of Necessity

Posted in NLRA, NLRB Decisions, Strikes, Unfair Labor Practices
In connection with pending exceptions to an ALJ decision in United Site Services of California, the General Counsel has argued that the Board should change existing law to hold that an employer violates the Act when it permanently replaces striking employees without “a legitimate and substantial business justification.”  The case is now fully briefed before… Continue Reading

Board Member Hirozawa Endorses “Members Only” Union Recognition in Concurring Opinion as Term Expires

Posted in Beyond EFCA: Labor's Agenda, Duty to Bargain, Negotiations, NLRA, NLRB Decisions, NLRB Rule-Making
In one of the final decisions of his expired term, Board Member Kent Hirozawa sanctioned a long-rejected interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act which would impose an obligation on employers to bargain with “members only” unions. Endorsing a theory outlined most thoroughly by Professor Charles Morris in his 2005 book, “The Blue Eagle at… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Judge to NLRB: Stop Tolerating Racist and Sexist Behavior by Strikers

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRB, NLRB Decisions, Picket Line Activity
In a strongly penned concurring opinion, a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge took the National Labor Relations Board to task on Tuesday for the too-often cavalier and enabling approach that the Board’s decisions have taken toward the sexually and racially demeaning misconduct of some employees during strikes. The D.C. court’s decision in Consolidated Communications… Continue Reading

NLRB Division of Advice Asserts Misclassification of Employees Itself Interferes with Section 7 Rights

Posted in Division of Advice, NLRA, NLRB, Unfair Labor Practices
In a General Counsel Advice Memorandum released in late August 2016, the NLRB Division of Advice found that employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors violate Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA by restraining the employees’ section 7 rights to engage in concerted, protected activity.  The Memorandum, which is dated December 18, 2015, but was only recently… Continue Reading

Board Finds Management Rights Provision Too Vague

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Decisions, Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices
The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled in Graymont PA, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 37, that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act by unilaterally implementing changes to various policies and by failing to timely inform the Union that it did not possess information requested relevant to the policy… Continue Reading

NLRB Takes Issue with Noncompetes and Employment At-Will

Posted in NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
The Board continued its expansion of employee rights in its July 29th decision in Minteq International, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 63, finding that two common provisions in a non-compete agreement interfered with employees’ rights in violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act. Among other allegations, the General Counsel in Minteq asserted that the “Interference with… Continue Reading

Employer Violates Labor Law by Terminating Employee for His “Careless” Testimony Before a Legislative Body

Posted in NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
In Oncor Electric Delivery Co., 364 NLRB No. 58 (July 29, 2016), the National Labor Relations Board found that the employer, an electric utility, violated the Act by terminating an employee for his testimony before the Texas Senate. The employee testified before the Senate regarding the employer’s use of new smart meters that the employee claimed were… Continue Reading

NLRB’s Latest “Perfectly Clear” Successor Decision Creates Pitfalls for Buyers of Unionized Operations

Posted in NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
On July 18, 2016, the Board issued a split decision (Member Miscimarra dissenting) in Nexeo Solutions, LLC, 364 NLRB No. 44, in which it found that the buyer, Nexeo, was a “perfectly clear” successor of the seller’s unionized employees thereby precluding it from being able to set initial terms and conditions of employment unilaterally. The Board’s decision… Continue Reading

The Battle Over the Status of Uber and Lyft Drivers Continues

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, State/Local Issues, Unfair Labor Practices
Uber and Lyft have seen a number of attacks challenging the status of their independently contracted drivers in an effort to force both companies to reclassify and/or treat their drivers as employees. A recent example was a local ordinance enacted in Seattle, Washington, allowing drivers working for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft the right to unionize. Specifically, the ordinance,… Continue Reading

Electrical Subcontractor Cannot Catch a Break from the Eighth Circuit

Posted in Duty to Bargain, Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, NLRB, Unfair Labor Practices
On February 9, 2016, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) properly concluded that an electrical subcontractor violated the National Labor Relations Act when it unilaterally changed its employee break policy without affording the employees’ union an opportunity to bargain over the change. Parsons Electric, LLC v. NLRB,… Continue Reading

Arizona Federal Court Grants § 10(j) Injunctive Relief to Stop Employer’s Alleged Labor Law Violations

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, Unfair Labor Practices
In a April 30, 2014 General Counsel Memorandum, National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) General Counsel Richard Griffin declared that his office would expand the pursuit of injunctions in federal court against employers in connection with union organizing and bargaining efforts. In particular, the Memorandum directed the Board’s regional offices to pursue aggressively § 10(j)… Continue Reading

Labor Relations Today Issues ‘Labor Law 2015: Year in Review’

Posted in Alternative Labor Law Reform, Beyond EFCA: Labor's Agenda, Bush Board Reversal, Card Check, Department of Labor, Executive Orders, Expedited Elections, Federal Court Litigation, Government Contracts, House of Representatives, Joint Employer, Legislation, Micro Units, Negotiations, NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Administration, NLRB Decisions, NLRB Rule-Making, Remedies, Representation Elections, SCOTUS, Senate, Social Media, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions, White House
McGuireWoods labor attorneys and the editors of Labor Relations Today are pleased to announce the publication of Labor Law 2015: A Year In Review. For most of 2015, the National Labor Relations Board consisted of five members and the general counsel — all Senate-confirmed. This Board and the White House continued aggressive efforts to overhaul traditional labor law administratively,… Continue Reading

District Court Denies NLRB’s Request for Injunctive Relief

Posted in NLRB, Unfair Labor Practices
On December 1, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or the “Board”) request for interim injunctive relief pending the final disposition of Board proceedings against Employer Arlington Metals Corporation (“AMC”). In the underlying Board proceedings, AMC faces unfair labor practice charges stemming… Continue Reading

NAM Files Amicus Brief Challenging ALJ Decision Reinstating Racist Employee

Posted in Amici Briefs, NLRB, NLRB Decisions, Picket Line Activity, Unfair Labor Practices
On November 10, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board granted the National Association of Manufacturers’ motion to file an amicus brief in Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Case No. 8-CA-87155, in which the employer is challenging an administrative law judge’s decision requiring the employer to reinstate an employee who made racist statements on the picket line. The… Continue Reading

Employer Had No Duty to Bargain Over Use of GPS Tracking Device

Posted in Division of Advice, Duty to Bargain, NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
The NLRB’s Division of Advice recommended dismissal of an unfair labor practice charge alleging that an employer violated Section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act by using a GPS tracking device to investigate an employee without first bargaining with the union. The Division of Advice’s sensible conclusion was based on the specific facts of the case, as normally… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Reverses Board Decision on Lawfulness of Arbitration Agreements Once Again

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Decisions, Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices
In Murphy Oil USA, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit again held, contrary to the NLRB, that an employer does not commit an unfair labor practice by requiring its employees to sign arbitration agreements.  In doing so, the Fifth Circuit followed… Continue Reading

NLRB Rewrites Decades-Old Joint Employer Test

Posted in Joint Employer, NLRA, NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
Today the National Labor Relations Board issued its long-awaited ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015), a 3-2 decision overruling the NLRB’s prior joint-employer standard adopted in 1984. The Board majority, consisting of Chairman Pearce and Members Hirozawa and McFerran, prefaced its need for revisiting the thirty-year-old standard on the fact that “the… Continue Reading

Board Finds Deferral to Arbitration Inappropriate Where Employer Clearly Violated the Express Terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Decisions, Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices
In Oakland Physicians Medical Center, LLC, 362 NLRB No. 129 (July 22, 2015), the National Labor Relations Board both rejected the employer’s request for deferral to arbitration and found that the employer violated the National Labor Relations Act by making unilateral changes to employee health care coverage, including the premiums paid by the employees, during… Continue Reading

ALJ Holds That Successor Employer Violated NLRA By Failing To Hire Predecessor’s Union Employees

Posted in NLRA, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
In Eastern Essential Services, (22-CA-133001, July 13, 2015), an ALJ found that a successor cleaning company violated the National Labor Relations Act when it refused to hire members of the predecessor’s cleaning crew due to their union affiliation. The employer, a janitorial cleaning service, took over the cleaning contracts for three buildings in New Jersey.  When the… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Reverses Board Decision Allowing Employees to Wear “Inmate,” “Prisoner” Shirts in Customer Homes

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
With a subtle introductory rebuke, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has reined in one of the National Labor Relations Board’s more outrageous decisions of the past few years.  In Southern New England Telephone Company v. NLRB, No. 11-1099 (D.C. Cir., July 10, 2015), the court vacated the Board’s ruling that the… Continue Reading

NLRB Flip Flops, Finds Employer Legally Terminated Employee for Dishonesty

Posted in NLRB Decisions, Unfair Labor Practices
On remand because of the Supreme Court’s ruling in NLRB v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550 (2014), the National Labor Relations Board reversed course in Fresenius USA Manufacturing, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 130 (June 24, 2015), and found that an employer lawfully terminated an employee for dishonesty during an investigation of employee misconduct. The 2015 decision is a stark… Continue Reading