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Management-Side Labor Law Attorney Peter Robb Nominated for NLRB General Counsel

As expected, Peter B. Robb has been nominated by President Donald Trump to become the National Labor Relations Board’s next General Counsel. Robb is a long-time management labor law attorney.

Outgoing NLRB General Counsel Urges Board to Extend Weingarten Rights to Non-Union Employees

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) outgoing General Counsel, Richard Griffin, recently released an Advice Memorandum urging the Board to overrule its prior decision in IBM Corp. and extend employees’ Weingarten rights to non-union settings. If the IBM Corp. decision is overruled, employers with non-unionized workforces will be required to grant employee requests for representation by a co-worker during workplace investigations.

Top Five Labor Law Developments for August 2017

Employees had no right to union representation in their employer’s peer review committee proceedings, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled. Midwest Division – MMC, LLC, dba Menorah Medical Center v. NLRB, No. 15-1312 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 18, 2017).

union kNOw – September 2017

Workers at Nissan’s factory in Canton, Mississippi, have strongly rejected representation by the United Auto Workers — 63% to 37% — despite a multi-year organizing campaign. Nissan spent enormous resources in a counter-campaign that included a local advertising blitz consisting of television commercial spots, newspaper and radio advertisements, and Spotify ads. Nissan’s expenditure to stay union-free in the traditionally union-free South provides a valuable lesson to employers: Do not be complacent about the prospect of unionization, regardless of location and organizing history.

Employers Take Note: Public’s Approval of Unions Goes Up, Gallup Reports

Apparently, reports of the demise of organized labor are greatly exaggerated. According to a Gallup poll conducted from August 2 to 6, 2017, 61% of adults answered that they approve when asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of unions?” This is the highest percentage since 2003, when 65% said they approve.

Seattle Ordinance Allowing Ride-Sharing Drivers to Unionize Temporarily Blocked by Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked enforcement of the City of Seattle’s Ordinance 124968, which grants certain collective bargaining rights to independent contractors who drive for ride-sharing companies like Uber.

On the Front Lines (No. 9, September 2017)

Among the most crucial federal agencies undergoing a transformation under the new presidential administration is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). During the eight years of the Obama administration, with the Board stocked with a majority of Democratic appointees, the NLRB issued decision after decision tilting the playing field decidedly in favor of unions and workers. However, the five-member NLRB is poised to soon be led by a majority of Republican appointees, and we expect changes to soon follow.

NLRB Fires Shot At Handy, Taking Aim At Gig Economy In General

Josh Eidelson from Bloomberg reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against gig economy mainstay Handy earlier this week, alleging that the on-demand workers who provide home cleaning services through its online platform are actually employees and not independent contractors. The complaint was issued on August 28 out of the NLRB’s Boston office; a copy has not yet been made public, but if Eidelson’s report is accurate (and there is no reason to think it isn’t), this is a troubling sign for gig businesses.

NLRB Finds Sports Team’s Electronic-Content Workers Employees Eligible To Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has found the individuals who produce electronic content for viewing during professional basketball games are employees, rather than independent contractors. Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball, LP, 365 NLRB No. 124 (2017). The Board reversed the decision of an NLRB regional director and reinstated a representation petition filed by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. For more on this development, click here.

Bills in Congress Would Short-Cut ‘Quickie Election Rule,’ ‘Micro-Unit’ Reversals

With the recent confirmation of Marvin Kaplan to the National Labor Relations Board, the Obama (pro-union) Board is officially transitioning into a Trump (pro-business) Board. With that, Republicans hope, will come a change in the Board’s jurisprudence with respect to labor-friendly rulings by the Obama Board.

Jackson Lewis P.C. | Washington | Washington Enacts Healthy Starts Act: New Workplace Accommodation Protections for Pregnant Employees (September 11, 2017)

FordHarrison LLP | Florida | Non-Compete News - Florida Supreme Court Holds Referral Sources Are Legitimate Business Interests Under Florida's Non-Compete Statute (September 18, 2017)

FordHarrison LLP | New York | The 2nd Department Rejects NYSDOL's "13 Hours Rule" For 24-Hour Shift Workers (September 17, 2017)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | New York | New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law Deadline for Employers to Apply for Approval as a Self-Insured Employer Rapidly Approaching (September 13, 2017)

Fisher Phillips | California | The End is Near! – Follow These Labor and Employment Bills as the California Legislative Year Wraps Up (September 06, 2017)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | California on Brink of Further Expansion of Fair Pay Protections (September 15, 2017)

Ogletree Deakins | California | San Diego Enacts Pay Equity Ordinance for City Contractors (September 14, 2017)

Goldberg Segalla LLP | Pennsylvania | Pennsylvania Courts Continue to Extend Theories of Liability in Nursing Home Malpractice Cases (August 31, 2017)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | New York | Another New York State Appellate Court Finds 24-Hour Non-Residential Home Care Attendants Must be Paid for Sleep and Meal Periods (September 17, 2017)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | California | California Countdown: Which Labor & Employment Bills Will the Governor Sign? (September 21, 2017)