Labor Relations Today

It has always been clear that non-compete agreements between an employer and its bargaining unit employees are a mandatory subject of bargaining, but it has never been clear that the same is true for agreements between an employer and a third-party limiting the third-party’s ability to hire the employer’s unionized employees. However, employers finally received some (non-binding) clarity in the form of an Advice Memorandum from the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General
A 3-1 majority of the National Labor Relations Board announced last week its intent to level set what constitutes “protected concerted activity” given that the Board has over the years “blurred the distinction between protected group action and unprotected individual action.” In its decision in Alstate Maintenance, LLC, 367 NLRB No. 68 (2019), the Board opined: The applicable standard [for protected concerted activity] should not sanction an all-but-meaningless inquiry in which concertedness hinges on whether…
On September 14, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register regarding its joint-employer standard. The  Proposed Rule seeks to overrule the Board’s 2015 joint-employer decision in Browning-Ferris and replace it with the following in the NLRB’s Rules and Regulations: An employer, as defined by Section 2(2) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act), may be considered a joint employer of a separate employer’s employees only if the two employers share…
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), joined by a number of union leaders and Democratic lawmakers, yesterday announced introduction of the “Workplace Democracy Act” in the Senate.  The bill recycles a number of the failed legislative and administrative efforts of the past decade or so to reform labor law to facilitate union organizing, including the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and Sen. Sanders’ 2015 version of this bill.  But it expands upon those efforts significantly to…
In Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Inc., 366 NLRB No. 66 (April 20, 2018), the Board ruled that the hospital employer’s prohibition of non-approved pins and badges was unlawfully overbroad. As a general rule, employees are permitted to wear union insignia at work in the absence of “special circumstances.”  In hospitals, out of concern for the possible disruption to patient care, this general rule is modified and restrictions on wearing union insignia are presumed valid…
On December 14, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board published a Request for Information in the Federal Register, seeking public comment regarding the December 2014 overhaul of its representation election procedures.  The Board twice extended the deadline for submission of feedback.  Before the window closed last night, there were almost 7,000 submissions.  This number is obviously exaggerated by the number of form submissions sent in at the behest of organized interests.  A quick glance…
Labor lawyer John Ring was sworn in today as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board for a term ending on December 16, 2022.  The Board’s announcement includes the following remarks from the new Chairman: “I thank the President for the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the NLRB,” Ring said. “I am honored to serve alongside the dedicated professionals at the Agency. My career as a labor lawyer has given me a great appreciation for…
Connecticut state legislators are considering a bill to outlaw group meetings by employers to discuss a variety of matters including the issue of union representation.  “An Act Concerning Captive Audience Meetings,” HB5473, would allow workers to file a lawsuit to challenge discipline for not attending a mandatory employer meeting where union issues are discussed. As introduced, the bill states: no employer, or agent, representative or designee of such employer, shall require an employee to attend…
The Board has once again extended the time for filing responses to its December 14, 2017 Request for Information Regarding Representation Election Regulations. The original submission deadline of February 12, 2017, had previously been extended to March 19, 2018.  The Board has now extended that deadline to April 18, 2018. The Board is seeking feedback to three questions regarding the 2014 Election Rule, which modified the Board’s representation-election procedures located at 29 CFR parts 101…
In KHRG Employer, LLC d/b/a Hotel Burnham & Atwood Cafe, 366 NLRB No. 22 (Feb. 28, 2018), a unanimous panel of the Board held that the employer did not violate the Act when it fired an employee who breached internal security measures to lead a group of employees to present management with a petition. The employee and union were attempting to organize the employees at the employer’s hotel, and held a rally outside the…