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Dues Checkoffs May Be Valid in Wisconsin Despite Federal Court Ruling

A Wisconsin federal court has invalidated a key provision in Wisconsin’s Right to Work law that gave employees the right to cancel deduction of union dues from their paychecks.

NLRB Asserts Jurisdiction Over Non-Teaching Employees of a Private Religious University

Executive Summary: In an April 6, 2017, decision, Saint Xavier University, 365 NLRB No. 64 (2017), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that it was appropriate to exercise jurisdiction over a petitioned-for unit of housekeeping employees at a religious university, since they were non-teaching employees, and since their “actual duties and responsibilities [did not] require them to perform a specific role in fulfilling the religious mission of the institution.”

The NLRB Rules That It Will Assert Jurisdiction Over Nonteaching Employees of Religious Institutions And Nonprofit Religious Organizations

In its 2014 landmark decision in Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that it will assert jurisdiction over faculty at religious colleges and universities unless the college or university can show that it holds the faculty out “as performing a specific role in creating or maintaining” the religious educational environment. We previously reported on that decision here. The NLRB was very specific in PLU that its holding only applied to faculty employed at religious colleges and universities.

Unions: Top Ten Marketing Pitches

Unionization rates in the private sector have reached new lows in the Carolinas and beyond. (see The Carolinas: Least Unionized states in the Nation). More than 93% of the private sector employees have expressly or implicitly declined unionization. In effect, they are not “buying” the services being promised by unions. Some employees realize that unions seldom can guarantee that any of those promises will come true, while others are skeptical about the unions’ motives. Rather than crafty promises, the actual sources of competitive pay, safe workplaces, and similar benefits are through progressive employers, satisfied customers, quality products or services, and statutory protections.

Seattle’s Attempt to Unionize On-Demand Economy Dealt First Blow

Not two weeks ago, we discussed several active court cases seeking to challenge the City of Seattle’s first-of-its-kind ordinance aimed at unionizing ride-sharing drivers, pointing out that the battle was about to reach a critical point. We’re happy to report that a federal court struck a blow against the ordinance yesterday and blocked it from proceeding for the time being. While this is just the first step in what is sure to be a long and complex fight, and it is only temporary in nature, it is incredibly positive news and a step in the right direction.

eLABORate: Supreme Court Rules Appointment of NLRB General Counsel Violated the Law

In a 6-2 ruling, the United States Supreme Court held that former President Obama’s temporary appointment of acting National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) General Counsel Lafe Solomon, whose service lasted more than three years, violated the Federal Vacancies and Reform Act of 1998 (“FVRA”). The ruling came as the result of a company challenging an NLRB labor complaint issued by Solomon, claiming it was invalid because of the acting General Counsel’s improper appointment. The ruling also cast doubts as to the validity of other decisions made by Solomon during his three year tenure as General Counsel.

What Can You Say? D.C. Circuit Speaks on Employee Confidentiality

In a ruling that affects both union and non-union employers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently held in Banner Health System v. NLRB that employers may not prohibit employees from discussing information related to employees’ salaries and discipline. While this decision does not break new ground, it does provide employers with some guidance on how the D.C. Circuit will scrutinize efforts to maintain confidentiality surrounding HR investigations.

NLRB Denies Petitions to Revoke Subpoenas Based on Mere Allegation of Joint Employer Status

The National Labor Relations Board has denied petitions to revoke subpoenas that were issued by an NLRB Regional Director to two companies seeking information about a possible joint employer relationship between the two employers. The subpoenas arose out of the investigation of several unfair labor practice charges filed by a union against the companies, alleging they were joint employers (as well as alter egos and a single employer).

Supreme Court Invalidates Action taken by Former NLRB General Counsel

The National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel is an important position. The General Counsel is, among other things, the NLRB’s chief prosecutor and sets the Agency’s prosecutorial agenda. The GC is appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate.

Supreme Court Uses NLRB Case to Limit Presidential Power

The US Supreme Court has ruled that then President Obama exceeded his authority in allowing Lafe Solomon to serve as the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) interim general counsel while he was awaiting Senate confirmation for the permanent general counsel position. The ruling is significant in that it could apply to any future temporary agency appointments that President Trump might consider.