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

  • NLRB Makes Significant Changes to “Quickie” Election Rule The National Labor Relations Board recently scaled back the 2015 “quickie” election rule, which had sped up the timelines for conducting union elections.  Speeding up the process provided an advantage to unions by setting short deadlines that often ambushed employers, leaving them with limited time to react to the election petition.  The new rule offers welcome relief to employers and adds more time to address pre-election issues. The new rule modifies the 2015 “quickie” election rule in the following significant ways: Pre-Election... More
  • NLRB may revisit the limits of profane employee speech protected by federal labor law While it may come as a surprise, the NLRB has long held that employees are sometimes entitled to use profane language while engaging in labor activities.  In recent years, the Board has found that employee speech was protected where: An employee posted online that his supervisor was a “NASTY MOTHER F**KER don’t know how to talk to people!!!!!! F**k his mother and his entire f**king family!!!!” while also noting an upcoming union election. An employee used racist language while on a picket... More
  • NLRB Rejects Clause Mandating Arbitration of All Disputes The National Labor Relations Board recently invalidated an arbitration agreement that would require employees to arbitrate all “all claims or controversies” with their employer, holding that such a provision would unlawfully restrict employees’ access to the Board to adjudicate labor disputes. The Board’s decision in Prime Healthcare could reverberate widely because the language it declared invalid is particularly common in arbitration agreements. In the ruling, the Board revisited a topic on which it has previously found itself at odds with the U.S. Supreme Court. In... More
  • Scabby the Rat memo signals possible change to NLRB precedent on secondary activity Federal labor law protects neutral (secondary) employers from becoming entangled in labor disputes between another (primary) employer and unions.  For most of the past decade, however, the NLRB has allowed unions to set up various displays – including an inflatable rat (otherwise known as “Scabby”) and an inflatable “fat cat” – near neutral employers’ premises or work sites with relative impunity. A recent memo from the NLRB’s Division of Advice signals a change in position of the Board’s prosecutorial arm.  The... More
  • Uber Drivers are Contractors, Not Employees, According to NLRB’s Chief Lawyer Since the emergence of the “gig economy” in the last decade, courts and government agencies have grappled with the question of whether gig workers should be classified as employees or contractors.  The answer to that question has enormous consequences for employee coverage under various federal and state employment laws, ranging from anti-discrimination statutes like Title VII to wage-and-hour laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Generally, these laws usually only cover employees, and exclude contractors. The National Labor Relations Board, which... 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
  • NLRB: Individual Complaints Are Not Protected By Labor Law Employee complaints must be “concerted” to enjoy the protections of federal labor law.  This requirement, contained in the language of the NLRA, stems from the collective nature of rights guaranteed by the NLRA, which ensure protection for union activity or activity that is made for “mutual aid or protection.”  Despite rather clear statutory language, the labor bar has debated the meaning of “concerted” for many decades and the NLRB’s case law has alternated between restricted and expansive definitions over time. In... More
  • No End In Sight: The NLRB’s Joint Employer Standard There is another yet another development in saga of the NLRB’s joint employer standard.  This issue, which has caused consternation in the business community, concerns the Board’s standards for finding that two entities are jointly responsible under federal labor law as the employers of a certain group of employees.  Just before the New Year, the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the joint employer standard issued by the Board in 2015 in the Browning-Ferris Industries case. We’ve... More
  • Union Election Petition Filed By Employer Not Barred By CBA In Silvan Industries, 367 NLRB No. 28 (2018), the Board decided that an employer, upon being presented with evidence that creates well-founded uncertainty as to a union’s majority support, may file an election petition despite previously agreeing to a collective bargaining agreement with the union that had not yet taken effect.  This Board decision reviews important principles of labor law applicable to employers in a unique situation wherein the majority status of the union representing its employees is challenged. Generally, employers... More
  • Breathe, Stretch, … Strike? Can employees engage in a concerted stretching exercise during work hours?  The NLRB recently said yes. The NLRA allows employees to engage in demonstrations to support their union, including demonstrations in support of contract proposals.  However, the law does not protect employees from engaging in work slowdowns or other refusals to perform work.  Strikes are protected, but they generally are an “all or nothing” proposition.  The general rule is that employees must completely stop work and leave the premises to enjoy... More