Labor & Employment

Labor Management Relations

Management & Labor Report Blog

https://laborlaw.foxrothschild.com/

Management & Labor Report is a blog that 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

  • 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 the 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
  • 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
  • NLRB Might Revisit Blocking Charge Policy As is often the case with the NLRB, footnotes include critical information and signal where the NLRB is heading. And, that is certainly the case with the NLRB’s blocking charge policy. On May 9, 2018, in a footnote to an NLRB Order, Board Members Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel signaled their intent to reconsider the NLRB’s blocking charge policy. The blocking charge policy is one of the NLRB’s longest standing rules. In a nutshell, the rule allows the NLRB to place... 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Despite Hy-Brand, Browning Ferris May Still Be Overruled Soon   As my colleague Andrew MacDonald blogged on February 27 (here), the Board overturned its test for joint employer liability for the second time in approximately two months when it vacated Hy-Brand Contractors Ltd., 365 NLRB No. 156 (2017), which overruled the Obama Board’s decision in Browning Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015). Thus, Browning Ferris is currently law of the land, but perhaps not for long. Prior to Browning Ferris, the putative joint employer needed to exercise “direct” and “immediate”... 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
  • 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