William J. Kishman

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Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board’s top prosecutor clarified how he views several key issues that arise when unions request information from employers. Board General Counsel Peter Robb confirmed that his office will not require employers to automatically inform unions about the amounts the employers have saved due to the recent federal tax cut. The General Counsel also indicated, once again, that he views the duty to furnish information in a more evenhanded…
The National Labor Relations Board has recently signaled another key change for unionized employers. The Board may be on the verge of significantly expanding employers’ key defense to alleged failure-to-bargain unfair labor practice charges. Historically, the Board has made it particularly difficult for a unionized employer to adjust or update its operations in a way that affects employees. At default, when a union represents a group of employees, their employer must bargain with that union…
When a public relations issue strikes, it can be difficult to find time to implement new procedures or educate employees on new legal concepts. This is particularly true where social media can trigger a public relations crisis almost instantaneously. Accordingly, an organization should develop a public relations response plan before it needs one.…
As most union and non-union employers know, the National Labor Relations Board has updated its standards in several respects over the past year. For some of these updates, the Board has not comprehensively clarified how far they extend or when they apply. In an effort to help clarify employers’ obligations, the Board’s top prosecutor, General Counsel Peter Robb, recently issued several “advice memoranda” explaining how his office views certain developing issues. Although these memos are…
Over the last week, the National Labor Relations Board has sent signals that it will significantly change how it addresses certain employer property rights and processes unfair labor practice charges. Although these developments concern relatively nuanced issues, they likely will affect both union and non-union employers in important ways.…
The “joint employer” doctrine affects healthcare as much as nearly any industry. Healthcare entities frequently rely on outside labor to meet their objectives, such as by contracting with specialty medical providers, hiring temporary administrative staff to fill short-term vacancies, using outside vendors for routine custodial work and maintenance, or through myriad other relationships. In this situation, however, an entity faces a difficult balance between (a) controlling outside workers enough to protect its reputation and good…
Earlier this decade, hardly a week passed without some court or agency interpreting the joint employment doctrine more expansively than before. Although the National Labor Relations Board created many of these headlines by attempting to treat McDonald’s as the joint employer of its franchisees’ employees and expanding its joint employment test, many courts and other agencies reached similar interpretations. These broad decisions raised particular concerns for franchisors and other businesses who rely on outside workers…
Last December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a groundbreaking decision that gave both union and non-union employers more flexibility to protect their interests through employee handbooks and other written policies. This week, the Board’s top prosecutor – General Counsel Peter Robb – expanded on that decision and further clarified when an employers’ written policies will pass scrutiny under the National Labor Relations Act. The General Counsel’s new guidance memorandum also identifies several common types…
On May 9, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board announced an interesting development regarding two key ongoing issues, i.e., the Board’s joint-employer standard and the alleged conflicts of interest of Member William Emanuel. This announcement also sheds light on how the Board may change other areas of federal labor law in the future.…
Mergers, acquisitions, and sales can be a common event for health systems. These types of deals involve many moving parts, from both legal and operational perspectives. Given how complex deals can become, it can be easy to overlook obligations to labor unions when they arise. One recent National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) decision illustrates a key obligation for unionized health systems, the duty to furnish information, and how entities should address that obligation during deals.…