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Day one of labor negotiations for a new labor contract. The prior three years had been uneventful, very few grievances, a good business climate, and the two negotiating committees chatted amicably as they waited for their representatives to start the meeting. The company lead negotiator spoke first, welcoming everyone, pledging to work in good faith toward a new contract. The union international representative, who was new to the relationship, spoke next. Out of the blue,…
When terminating an employee, an employer should create documentation showing the reason for and circumstances relating to the termination. The documentation serves two purposes. First, it helps the employer remember why it terminated the employee, especially in situations where the original decision makers are no longer with the employer. Second, it will help the employer defend challenges to the termination decision (e.g., a discrimination claim). For example, if the employer has contemporaneous documentation showing it…
With only a few exceptions (e.g., harassment training in California), employment-related training is voluntary, not mandatory.  We all have so many demands on our time and not enough time in the day to meet them.  As an HR professional, sometimes the last thing you want to do is go to another seminar about harassment, or the ADA, or wage and hour issues.  Is it really important that you do?…
In recent weeks we have commented on the spate of new pro-employer decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (the Board).   These decisions, among others,  have included: Boeing Co., 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017)(reasonable employer policies, such as Boeing’s ban on the use of cameras and cell phones, are lawful), Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, 365 NLRB No. 156 (Dec 14, 2017)(the Board returned to its old rules on joint employer issues), PCC Structural,…
We have written in the past about how important it is for an employer to be accurate in articulating its reason for terminating an employee.  For example, if an employer is terminating an employee for poor performance, the employer should say so, and not try to characterize the termination as a job position elimination.  If a terminated employee claims illegal discrimination, and a judge or jury decide the employer was not truthful about the reasons…
As every employer knows, the Obama era has not been kind from a labor law perspective. The five-member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which has had a Democratic majority during recent years, has issued a host of pro-union decisions over the past eight years. Along with new rules that speed up the union election process, those decisions have made it easier for unions to organize, and often made it harder for employers to enforce disciplinary…
Many union employers insist on strong management clauses in their labor agreements. Such clauses contain language reserving for the employer the right to adopt new rules and regulations.  A reasonable employer may assume that this language gives the company the right to adopt rules and regulations without first bargaining with its union. A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board reflects just how differently the Board views this issue than the “reasonable employer,” and…
Employers frequently find themselves in a situation where they have the right to do something under their labor agreements, but they have not been exercising the right. For example, the labor agreement might provide: “There shall be no pyramiding of overtime,” but under the employer’s pay practices, the employer has in fact been pyramiding (counting the same hours twice for purposes of overtime) “Double time shall be paid for the seventh consecutive day worked,” but…
Attracting and retaining employees in the automotive industry can be very challenging, especially when competitors are doing what they can to lure the best talent. After you provide an employee with a good job, training and development, customer contacts, and access to trade secret and other confidential information, it is discouraging, to say the least, when the employee then uses all of that for the benefit of a competitor. In the auto industry, in particular,…
Attracting and retaining employees is always a challenge. After you provide an employee with a good job, training and development, customer contacts, and access to trade secret and other confidential information, it is discouraging, to say the least, when the employee then uses all of that to help another business compete against you. Regardless of your industry, it is critical to implement certain strategies to help reduce turnover, protect intellectual property, and improve your company’s…