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The mountain that is Specialty Healthcare: Volkswagen case typifies employers’ steep climb in NLRB unit determination cases

In its 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, the National Labor Relations Board revised the test it applies in determining whether a union’s petitioned-for unit is appropriate. In Specialty Healthcare, the NLRB explained that where a union’s petitioned-for unit is readily identifiable as a group and shares a community of interest (common terms and conditions of employment), an employer who seeks a larger unit must demonstrate an “overwhelming” community of interest between the included and excluded employees. As we have reported in the April 2013 FR Alert and July 2014 FR Alert, employers have struggled to meet the “overwhelming” community of interest standard.

UAW gets vote on "micro-unit" at VW-Chattanooga

The National Labor Relations Board granted yesterday the United Auto Workers’ petition for a union election at the Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The election will be in a “micro-unit” of skilled tradesmen at the plant and will take place on December 3-4, only two weeks from now.

Postcards from the R-Case Edge: Insights into Supervisory Status Issues in a Proposed Unit

Since the new “ambush” election rules went into effect on April 14, 2015, there have been over 1,000 petitions for elections filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Approximately 60 of those petitions have led to pre-election representation-(R-case) hearings to determine unit issues. I participated in one of those 60 or so cases earlier this month and had the opportunity to glean insights on how the new procedures impact employers.

Union Seeks Labor Board Review of Regional Director’s Adverse Joint Employer Decision

In Green JobWorks LLC/ACECO, LLC, No. 05-RC-154596 (Oct. 21, 2015), discussed here, a case believed to be the first post-Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015), to apply the new joint employer “test” articulated there, a National Labor Relations Board Regional Director found that a subcontractor and temporary staffing agency were not joint employers. Now, the petitioning union, disappointed by the ruling, has requested NLRB review of that decision.

"Click Here To Organize" -- NLRB now Accepts E-Signatures on Authorization Cards

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made union organizing by email and social media a reality. The NLRB’s General Counsel issued Memorandum 15-08 on September 1, 2015, stating that, “[e]ffective immediately, parties may submit electronic signatures in support of a showing of interest.” On October 26, 2015, the General Counsel issued Revised Memorandum 15-08 providing more detail and examples of how the new process will work. Employers should expect unions to take advantage of this groundbreaking development by using email and social media to expedite and expand the organizing process.

Will Your Workers Go On Strike On November 10? What You Need To Know

Employee walkouts and protests are likely to occur on a massive scale across the country on Tuesday, November 10, spurred on by the union-supported “Fight for $15” movement. Low-wage workers seeking higher pay and possible union status will be the primary participants, but don’t be fooled into thinking the protests will be limited to fast-food workers. It is expected that these protests will include workers across many sectors.

Subcontractor, Temporary Staffing Agency not Joint Employers, NLRB Regional Director Decides

An NLRB case involving the construction industry provides insight into how the agency’s new joint employer standard may be applied.

What’s not to “like” . . . .? Maybe this Second Circuit decision.

The 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee’s “like” of a posting by a former employee, and a second employee’s comment on the original posting both were protected activity, and that firing those two employees violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Three D, LLC v. NLRB, No. 14-3284 (2d. Cir. Summary Order Oct. 21, 2015).

Second Circuit Upholds NLRB's Triple Play Decision, Expanding Section 7 Protections for Employees' Social Media Activity

Obscenities alone—even when viewed by an employer's customers—do not deprive employees engaged in protected concerted activity of the National Labor Relations Act's ("NLRA" or the "Act") protections. So held the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit when recently affirming the National Labor Relations Board's ("NLRB" or "the Board") decision in Three D, LLC (Triple Play), 361 NLRB No. 31 (2014). The court also affirmed the Board's decision to require an employer to meet a high standard of proof to justify terminating employees who make critical, and even false, statements about the employer while engaging in Section 7 activity in social media. Consequently, Triple Play has broadened employees' ability to use social media to complain about work with impunity.

Executive Labor Summary - September / October 2015

Back to the Past at VW Chattanooga?