As reported on the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives blog, the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel (“the General Counsel”) recently issued an internal directive regarding the manner in which NLRB Regions prosecute duty of fair representation charges against unions. Under the National Labor Relations Act, unions have a duty of fair representation to the members of the bargaining unit it represents by engaging in conduct that is not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith, particularly with regard to the processing of worker grievances. Board law has established (and unions typically offer as a defense) that “mere negligence” alone does not amount to arbitrary conduct that would serve to breach the duty of fair representation. Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Elevates Standard for Unions’ Duty of Fair Representation
As posted on the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives blog, many in the labor community are familiar with the Machinists Union’s (“Union”) long running effort to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina-based 787 Dreamliner manufacturing facility. After failing in two previous attempts to organize the entire facility, the Union recently won a bid to organize a “micro-unit” limited to a group of flight line technicians and inspectors. The Regional Director’s decision to approve the Union’s proposed bargaining unit took most labor practitioners by surprise, given the NLRB’s recent decision in PCC Structurals overturning the controversial Specialty Healthcare standard that facilitated the formation of micro-units. In PCC Structurals, the NLRB rejected the Specialty Healthcare test and reaffirmed that in reviewing representation petitions, the NLRB cannot limit its analysis to the interests of employees in the proposed bargaining group and instead must make a “meaningful” evaluation of the interests of those excluded from the group. Continue Reading Business Groups Support Boeing’s Appeal in Controversial NLRB Bargaining Unit Case
In a major win for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held that arbitration agreements with class action waivers do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). As reported on the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog, the Supreme Court’s narrow 5-4 decision paves the way for employers to include such waivers in arbitration agreements to avoid class and collective actions. Continue Reading SCOTUS Holds Class Action Waivers Do Not Violate the NLRA
On January 18, 2018, Hunton & Williams LLP’s retail industry lawyers, composed of more than 100 lawyers across practices, released their annual Retail Year in Review publication. The Retail Year in Review includes many topics of interest to retailers including blockchain, antitrust enforcement in the Trump Administration, ransomware’s impact on the retail industry, SEC and M&A activity in 2017, cyber insurance, vulnerability to class actions, and the reduced tax rate.
On August 2, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed one of President Trump’s two management-side appointees, Marvin Kaplan, to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in a contentious vote along party lines. Kaplan was sworn in on August 10, 2017, for a term ending on August 27, 2020. Continue Reading NLRB No Longer Controlled by Labor Union Appointees
As reported on Hunton’s Employment and Labor Law Perspectives blog, over the past eight years, the NLRB has been unusually aggressive with its policymaking. Hunton & Williams’ Labor and Employment partners Ryan A. Glasgow and Kurt G. Larkin discuss the current state of labor law, the NLRB and how it might change under the current administration.
If you are a retailer, you may have policies and procedures in place regarding who can speak on behalf of your company. Such policies may generally instruct employees not to speak to the press as a representative of the company, and to direct all media inquiries to a particular person or department. Similarly, if you are a retailer, you may have a policy in place that instructs employees to forward any reference requests to your human resources department. These commonplace policies allow retailers to control their public image and protect employee privacy, among other benefits. But, according to a recent decision by a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) administrative law judge (“ALJ”), such policies may violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in their right to engage in concerted activity. Continue Reading ALJ Says Company’s Neutral Reference and Press Inquiry Policies Violate NLRA
On March 6, 2017, an NLRB administrative law judge (“ALJ”) issued a ruling finding that a nonunion automotive manufacturing facility in Alabama violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it terminated three employees who walked off the job over a holiday-season scheduling dispute. The ALJ found that the employees were engaged in protected concerted activity despite the fact that they denied discussing the decision to leave work before their shifts had ended. Continue Reading Another Step in the NLRB’s Mission to Expand Definition of “Concerted Activity” under the NLRA
As reported on the Hunton Employment & Labor Law Perspectives blog, the United States Supreme Court has granted consolidated review of three cases to determine whether arbitration agreements that waive employees’ rights to participate in a class action lawsuit against their employer are unlawful. The Court’s decision to address the uncertainty surrounding class action waivers of employment claims follows a circuit split last year in which the Fifth and Eighth circuits upheld such waivers and the Seventh and Ninth circuits found that such waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Given the increasingly widespread use of class action waivers by employers to stem costly class and collective actions, the high court’s ruling is likely to have a significant nationwide impact. Continue Reading Supreme Court to Rule on Legality of Class Action Waivers in Employer Arbitration Agreements
Last year, we reported on Hunton’s Employment & Labor Law Perspectives blog that a confederation of trade associations filed an amicus brief supporting Volkswagen Group’s challenge to a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Regional Director’s decision allowing a union election in a “micro-unit” of maintenance workers at the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, auto manufacturing plant. At the time, the case was on review before the full NLRB. Unsurprisingly, the NLRB upheld the Regional Director’s decision on review. Now, Volkswagen is seeking review of that decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Continue Reading Business Coalition Weighs in Again on VW’s Challenge to NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare Standard