Management & Labor Report Blog

https://laborlaw.foxrothschild.com/

Andrew is a frequent contributor to Management & Labor Report, a blog that focuses on trends and developments in labor law. Andrew and his co-authors cover cases before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the federal courts that have the potential for setting new precedents or modifying existing precedent. Authored by attorneys in Fox Rothschild’s Labor Management Relations practice group, the blog provides insights and analysis of decisions that could potentially have an impact beyond the parties involved. Topics covered include collective bargaining, the relationship and interactions between an employer and union, union elections and other workplace conduct as it applies to both union and non-union settings

Recent Blog Posts

  • The Hy-Brand Saga Ends, But The NLRB’s Joint Employer Journey Continues On June 6, 2018, the NLRB issued two Orders that put an end to the Hy-Brand case, which briefly changed the NLRB’s standard for determining whether two employers were jointly responsible for violations of federal labor law and collective bargaining. As we explained in previous posts (links), in December 2017 the Hy-Brand Board returned the joint employer standard back to require “direct and immediate” control over the terms and conditions of employment that existed prior to the Board’s 2014 decision in... More
  • The Ninth Circuit Gives The Green Light To Independent Contractor Ride-Sharing Collective Bargaining Previously, I wrote about the “preemption” problem with the Seattle Ordinance regulating ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.  After Seattle passed the Ordinance, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals quickly stayed the Ordinance pending an appeal.  The Ninth Circuit recently issued its opinion on the case.  Although the law remains stayed due to antitrust law issues (that topic is for another blog…), the court’s decision provided a potentially game-changing decision on the preemptive force of national labor law as it... More
  • Supreme Court Allows Class Action Waivers In Arbitration In Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285, 584 U.S. ____ (May 21, 2018), the United States Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of arbitration agreements between employers and employees that require claims to be arbitrated on an individual basis, rather than on a class, collective, or multi-employee basis. Specific to the facts of the cases involved in the Court’s decision, this ruling means that the plaintiffs must individually arbitrate their wage and other employment-based claims against their employers, rather than pursue... More
  • NLRB Follows Precedent Allowing Union Insignia At Work, But Did It Signal A Change? Though it may come as a surprise to some employers, the NLRB generally recognizes the right of employees to wear union insignia (pins with union logos, etc.) while at work.  This rule applies to hospitals, but the Board and the courts, in recognition of the sensitive nature of working in medical facilities, have restricted employees’ rights to wear union insignia in “direct patient care areas.”  A recent case, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, 366 NLRB No. 66 (April 20, 2018),... More
  • Union Without An Election Victory? Yes, Sometimes Normally, a union must obtain a majority of votes cast by employees in an election to be certified as the employees’ bargaining representative.  However, if the employer has engaged in serious violations of federal labor law during a union organizing drive, the NLRB can order it to immediately recognize and bargain with the union even if the union lost the election.  These orders are commonly referred to as “Gissel” bargaining orders due to a U.S. Supreme Court of that name. In... More
  • The NLRB Returns to BFI By a brief Order announced on February 26, 2018, the NLRB overturned its precedent on joint employer for the second time in a span of almost two months. Specifically, the Board vacated the decision Hy-Brand Contractors Ltd., 365 NLRB No. 156 (2017), which, in turn, had overruled the joint employer standard announced in Browning Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015) (“BFI”). By vacating Hy-Brand, the Board has returned to a joint employer standard based not only on “direct” control... More
  • Columbia University: Employee or Not Employee – That is the Question? Graduate students at most private universities have been allowed to unionize since the 2016 decision of the NLRB in Columbia University.  This decision was controversial because the employee status of graduate students has flip-flopped over time, depending on whether members appointed by Democratic or Republican Presidents controlled the Board.  Since 2016, the makeup of the Board has shifted from a Democratic majority to Republican control.  While Democratic appointees generally support the notion that graduate students should be considered employees, Republican... More
  • Farewell to Micro-Units In PCC Structurals, Inc., the NLRB overruled its 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, which allowed for unions to organize employees in so-called “micro-units.”  Now, the Board has returned to its traditional, multi-factor “community of interest” test. The term “micro-unit” refers to a segment of employees that have been separated from a larger group of employees who share similar interests (based on compensation, hours, benefits, supervision, training and skills, interchange with other employees, etc.).  These “micro-units” have been criticized for creating unnecessary distinctions... More
  • One Response to Union Organizing – Shut Down Completely Recently, a majority of employees at the news websites DNAinfo and Gothamist decided to join the Writer’s Guild union to bargain collectively over their terms of employment. In response, the owner of the websites decided to shut down its operations completely. This begs the question: can a business close its doors in response to its employees voting to join a union? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer to that question is, with few exceptions, yes. In general, the National Labor Relations Act prevents... More
  • The Potential Preemption Problem With Ride-Sharing Driver Unionization With campaigns ongoing across the country aimed at raising the minimum wage at a state and local level, one might wonder, why not apply the same pressure on local governments to create their own labor laws? The battle between Uber and the City of Seattle demonstrates the complexities surrounding any attempt to regulate labor relations on a local level. In 2014, the Seattle City Council passed an Ordinance allowing for ride-sharing drivers, who are classified as independent contractors, to form unions... More