Workforce Committee Not a Fan of DOL’s Persuader Rule: Abigail Rubenstein of Law360 ($$) reports that last Thursday, the House Education and Workforce Committee sent a letter to the US Department of Labor providing that the DOL’s proposed "Persuader Rule" should be withdrawn as it could negatively impact the attorney-client relationship. The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) generally requires that employers report any efforts to directly or indirectly persuade employees to refrain from collectively organizing. However, there is currently a carve-out in the statute for general counseling and advice. The new regulations would limit this exception to oral and written recommendations, while other forms of "advice" would be subject to the disclosure requirements.
“The Obama administration is engaged in a campaign to silence employers on union matters,” [committee members] said in a joint statement after sending the letter. “A part of that effort is the Labor Department’s attempt to rewrite the long-standing advice exemption.
The letter concludes with the committee asking the DOL to abandon the rule and stay with the status quo. We will certainly keep you posted on any developments.
Las-Vegas Teacher Files ULPs Against Union Director: Trevon Milliard of the Las Vegas Review- Journal reports that, in a case of "man bites dog," a Las Vegas teachers’ union executive director is facing a National Labor Relations Board hearing after being accused of terminating a teacher from employment because she wanted to join a union. The teacher was fired at the end of her six-month probationary period, ostensibly for performance issues. However, during her term of employment, she repeatedly attempted to recruit a group of teachers to join the current teachers’ union. The teacher is seeking backpay, reinstatement, and a promise from the executive director that she will be allowed to continue her organizing activities without any further interference. We will keep you posted as this case moves towards a hearing.
NY Car Wash Workers Strike in Protest Over Firing: Julie Turkewitz of the New York Times writes that this past Saturday, workers at Jomar Car Wash in Queens, NY walked off the job in protest after one of their fellow union members was fired after a confrontation with his employer. The employees had recently unionized and believe that the employee was fired merely for being one of the new union’s principle organizers. New York’s attorney general’s office is currently looking into whether any state labor laws were broken. We will keep you posted as the investigation moves forward.