Vorys on Labor

Insights for the Labor Relations Professional

On April 29th, the latest test of the Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018) decision was filed.  Janus made it unconstitutional to require public sector employees to become union members and pay union dues as a condition of employment and effectively eliminated union “fair share” fees. In this latest challenge, three employees of Kent State University sued the Council 8 AFSCME, Kent State University, and University Trustees challenging the restrictions the…
On April 9, 2019, the UAW filed a third election petition with the NLRB to represent workers at Volkswagen’s manufacturing facility in Chattanooga.  With this new petition, the UAW seeks to represent about 1,700 production and maintenance workers at the VW facility. In 2014, the UAW lost an election to represent the same VW group by a vote of 712 to 626. Following the defeat, the UAW filed a second petition to represent a micro-unit
The NLRA permits employers and unions to agree to “union security” clauses in a collective bargaining agreement.  This clause requires employees to join the union (and pay dues) or lose their job with the employer. Congress imposed this “membership” obligation on employees to eliminate what some call the “free rider” problem.  The NLRA requires a union to represent all employees in a bargaining unit.  Without the union security provision, an employee might reap the benefits…
The Seventh Circuit recently ruled that a municipality’s nondiscriminatory ban of all private signs from the public roads and right-a-ways could be used to take down Scabby the Rat.  Scabby is a giant, inflatable balloon that is available in sizes 6 to 25 feet tall.  (The website the court cited in its opinion is here, for the curious!)  Unions have historically used Scabby (or other inflatables) to draw attention to labor disputes by posting…
The Trump NLRB continues to revisit, and overturn, Obama-era decisions.  Late last week, in SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., the NLRB revisited the test for determining when a worker is an independent contractor, and in the process overruled the Obama NLRB’s decision in FedEx Home Delivery. First, however, a little background information.  As we have previously discussed, employees may join unions; independent contractors may not.  Thus, whether a worker is an employee or an independent…
The joint employer issue at the NLRB continues to be a hotbed of activity.  We last updated our readers on this issue in mid-December.  Here’s what has happened since then: Developments in the Courts.  At the end of the year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in the appeal of the Obama Board decision that started it all:  BFI v. NLRB.  The court refused to enforce the NLRB’s order finding joint…
Janus v. AFSCME has opened the door for nonmember employees to sue unions for collecting fair share fees, and employees are taking action.  As readers of this blog know, Janus holds that requiring employees to pay a fee to a union without the employee’s affirmative consent is a violation of the First Amendment.  As discussed in our previous blog post, Nathaniel Ogle sued last year, on behalf of himself and others, to enjoin OCSEA…
In 2016, in Columbia University, the NLRB held that students at private institutions have a right to organize. The 3-1 decision overruled a 2004 decision in Brown University, which found that graduate assistants were not employees and thus did not have a statutory right to unionize. Since the Columbia University decision, the NLRB’s makeup has shifted — and it is uncertain whether the NLRB under the Trump Administration would still side with student workers. In…
The NLRB’s rulemaking on the joint employer issue has again been delayed.  Earlier this month, the AFL-CIO filed a memorandum (pdf) alleging that business groups secretly had “extensive input” on the proposed rule.  The AFL-CIO requested a 30-day extension of the time to submit comments on the proposed rule. On Monday, the NLRB announced that it was pushing back the deadline for submitting comments.  Commenters now have until mid-January 2019 to submit comments on the…
Last year we reported on S.B. No. 72, introduced by State Senator Matt Huffman (R), which would modify Ohio law to limit the scope of prevailing wage requirements in Ohio. After being referred to the Finance Committee in March 2017, word about S.B. 72 was mum until this week, when the committee held its first hearing on the bill. To recap, S.B. 72 would make multiple key changes to Ohio law, including eliminating the requirement…