Blog

Management & Labor Report

The Management & Labor Report blog focuses on trends and developments in labor law. The primary focus is 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

  • Notice Posting Requirements Are – and Remain – Postponed Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic In an early May 2020 decision, the Board declared a temporary pause in charged parties (usually an employer) complying with the NLRB’s standard notice posting remedy in response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. Thereafter, on May 20, 2020, General Counsel Peter B. Robb issued GC Memo 20-06 and made this temporary change applicable to informal settlement agreements (as a notice posting is typical in such arrangements). A party that is liable for violations of the Act and/or who enters... More
  • New NLRB Case Investigation Guidelines Change How Regions Will Handle Particular Evidence and Witness Testimony On June 17, 2020, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb issued GC Memo 20-08 (“Memo”), providing Regional offices new directives for taking certain witness testimony and accepting audio/video recording evidence in unfair labor practice (“ULP”) investigations. First, the Memo instructs Regions allow a charged party – in most cases an employer – to be present and observe the “substantive communications” with a former supervisor or agent if that individual is now testifying against the charged party about a contested... More
  • Federal Court Affirms NLRB Ruling Limiting a Union’s Right to Employer’s Financial Information On April 29, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a National Labor Relations Board decision where an employer was lawfully permitted to refuse a union’s request for financial information because it appropriately clarified its previous “inability to pay” statements and explained that it was only unwilling, not unable, to meet the union’s wage demands.  Normally, when an employer justifies its bargaining position by claiming an inability to pay a union’s demands, the union may request financial documents sufficient... More
  • New Jersey Employers: The Minimum Wage Will Eventually Rise to $15 per hour by 2024 On Monday, February 4, Governor Phil Murphy made good on a campaign promise and signed into law a new bill (A-15) that will raise the State’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024. This hike in minimum wage, however, will not happen immediately and increases will be phased in over time. Currently, the minimum wage rate in New Jersey is $8.85 per hour. Under the new law, this rate will jump to $10 per hour on July 1, 2019 and... More
  • The D.C. Circuit Asks the NLRB to Explain its Actions in a Burns Successor Context On May 29, 2018, the D.C. Circuit asked the NLRB to explain – and justify – why it used a “clear and unmistakable waiver” standard when dealing with a Burns successor setting initial terms and conditions of employment, possibly offsetting its duty to bargain with a union in certain situations. As such, the court partially vacated an April 2017 Board decision holding that a successor employer, Tramont Manufacturing, LLC, violated the Act by laying off 12 workers without first notifying the... More
  • Columbia University Graduate Students End Their Strike…but the Saga Continues This past Monday, April 30, marked the conclusion of a weeklong strike conducted by Columbia graduate students at the University’s campus. Timing, as people say, is sometimes everything – especially in an ongoing labor dispute – and here these graduate students scheduled a strike for the last – and busiest – week of the semester. As such, the strike was expected to be problematic for both professors who rely on graduate students to teach classes, perform research, and grade papers and... More
  • Remember, Protected Concerted Activity Can Take Many Forms… On April 20, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board, by adopting an ALJ’s decision, held that employees who replied in agreement to another employee’s critical group email about the employer’s workplace were engaged in protected concerted activities under the Act. The email discussed wages, work schedules, tip policies, working conditions, and management’s treatment of employees – all of which are protected topics of conversation as they encompass workers’ terms and conditions of employment. Notably, the email specifically addressed the other employees... More
  • Undergraduate Resident Advisors May Possibly Unionize…For Now Undergraduate resident advisors usually wield a lot of power over university residence halls and those who occupy them. You likely know this already if you were ever a college freshman living in the dorms and received a write-up or warning from your RA. But, for those who do not know, RAs – who are often only slightly older than the college students they oversee – are essentially there to supervise their peers living in dorms and make sure nothing (too)... More
  • Strike and You’re Out…of the Country Sometimes, using only one word can make all the difference between a lawful and unlawful statement. Washington University in Saint Louis learned this lesson the hard way when in late October 2017 Associate General Counsel for the NLRB’s Division of Advice Jayme L. Sophir instructed Region 14 to issue complaint, absent settlement, against the University. The Advice Memorandum, released to the public on February 15, 2018, found the University violated Section 8(a)(1) of the Act by threatening foreign graduate students with... More
  • “Better Late than Never” Does Not Apply When Conducting a Union Election On February 2, 2018, a split three-member Board panel held that a prior election won by a union must be vacated and, accordingly, ordered a second election as it found merit to the employer’s objection arguing that the tardiness of the Board Agent conducting the election potentially disenfranchised a dispositive number of eligible voters. In February 2017, employees at Bronx Lobster Place LLC voted in favor of unionization by a narrow margin of 14-12. There were 4 eligible voters that did... More