ALJ Fires Warning Shot at D.R. Horton: Abigail Rubenstein of Law360 ($$) writes that last week, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge found that the NLRB’s current view of class-action waivers conflicts with recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Specifically, the ALJ ruled that that the proponent’s claim that Chesapeake Energy’s individual arbitration policy was unlawful was incorrect in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in American Express.
In American Express, the Supreme Court determined that a class-action waiver was enforceable in an antitrust context, despite the possibility that individual claims would not be cost-effective. The ALJ’s decision, while not binding Board precedent, certainly should be taken as a sign that D.R. Horton could be on shaky ground. On the other hand though, the current Board has not shown a willingness to step back from that decision. We will keep you posted on any possible appeals.
Union Pushing For End to Kellog Lockout: Jennifer Bowman of the Battle Creek Enquirer reports that representatives of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) are calling on Kellog Co. to end its lockout of more than 200 employees in Memphis. The union further claims that the company plans to replace the locked-out workers with "part time employees."
The company locked its workers out after negotiations broke down in mid-October of this year. However, there had been some labor trouble prior to the lockout, with the company laying off 70 workers last April. We will keep you posted as this labor dispute moves toward a resolution.
UC Student Workers Authorize Strike: Adrianna Dinolfo of the Daily Californian reports that the United Auto Workers, the union representing student workers at the University of California, has stated that its members have voted to authorize a strike in response to what the students say were intimidation tactics from management officials. The strike authorization was overwhelmingly approved by 96% of voting members. We will keep you posted on whether the students decide to strike.