Management & Labor Report

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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…
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…
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 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…
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…
In December 2017, the NLRB issued a decision in Boeing Corp., which altered the Board’s test concerning the validity of workplace rules. To further clarify the decision and current state of the law, the NLRB’s General Counsel issued a Memo (GC Memo 18-04) concerning the impact of the decision. GC Memo 18-04 expands upon the placement of certain rules into the three categories outlined in the Boeing decision. For background, the test formerly employed by the…
In a recent decision, a Board panel majority found that an employee was unlawfully fired for writing “whore board” on an overtime sign-up sheet at work.  This decision highlights the expansive nature of employee activity protected by the NLRA and the limited value that the NLRB can sometimes place on employer property rights. In this case, the employer instituted a new overtime policy, which, unlike the old policy, included discipline for failure to work…
A fully constituted NLRB is comprised of five members. Decisions are typically issued by three-member NLRB panels. Three is also the minimum number of members the NLRB must have to issue a decision. However, the NLRB will only overrule existing precedent where it has at least three members ruling in favor of a change. By custom, the NLRB will only overrule existing precedent when the NLRB has at least four members and at least three…
On June 6, 2018, the NLRB issued two Orders that put an end to the Hy-Brand case, which briefly changed the NLRB’s standard for determining whether two employers were jointly responsible for violations of federal labor law and collective bargaining. As we explained in previous posts (links), in December 2017 the Hy-Brand Board returned the joint employer standard back to require “direct and immediate” control over the terms and conditions of employment that existed prior…
  In General Counsel Memorandum 18-05, General Counsel Peter Robb expressed his views on the use of temporary injunctions under Section 10(j) of the Act. Section 10(j) gives the NLRB the discretion upon issuance of a complaint to seek temporary injunctions against employers and unions (typically employers) in federal district courts to stop alleged unfair labor practices while the case is being litigated before the NLRB. The Region’s argument is that injunctive relief is allegedly…