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New 2019 Data Shows U.S. Workers Participated in Strike Actions at Highest Rate in 30 Years

Employers, especially manufacturers, are facing a new (old) challenge in unionized work forces: strikes. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows U.S. workers are more likely to strike today than at any other time in the last 30 years. This should prompt employers with unionized workforces to review their strike preparedness plans.

NLRB Joint-Employer Rule Restores “Substantial Direct and Immediate Control” Test

On February 25, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board released its long-awaited final rule regarding joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on February 26, 2020, and will become effective April 27, 2020.

Labor Gets Wishlist Bill Passed In House

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill that would tilt the scales of labor law unequivocally in favor of organized labor. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would bring about a radical shift in labor relations and could even reverse the steady decline of unionization seen in this country since the 1950s. To reach this goal, the PRO Act takes aim at virtually every pro-employer right, outlawing and replacing them with a Frankenstein-like collection of pro-labor protections. What do employers need to know about the bill passed on February 6, and what could the future hold?

The Protecting the Right to Organize PRO Act of 2019: An Outline of its Proposed Labor Reforms

On February 6, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2474, The Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (PRO Act). The PRO Act would fundamentally alter federal labor law by dramatically tilting the playing field in favor of labor unions at the expense of employers and employees. The act would make the following changes to federal law:

Union Membership Rates Continue to Decline

By almost every measure, union membership rates continued its steady decline in 2019, according to the latest statistics on unionization rates in the United States from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The overall union membership rate in 2019 was 10.3%, down by 0.2% from 2018. The total number of unionized workers in 2019 was 14.57 million, down from 14.74 million in 2018. Including non-members, 11.6 million people were represented by a union in 2019, down from 11.7 million in 2018.

Unions Urge Board to Reconsider its Decision to Overrule Purple Communications on Ethics Grounds

Two unions are alleging a conflict of interest involving National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member William Emanuel should invalidate the NLRB’s recent decision in Caesars Entertainment Corp. d/b/a Rio All-Suites, 368 NLRB No. 143 (2019), in which the Board overruled Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 1050 (2014). Caesars Entertainment held that employees do not have a statutory right to use company email for union or other protected activity.

Union Launches National Organizing Effort in Gaming and Tech Industries

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has begun a nationwide union-organizing campaign targeting game and tech industry employees, in partnership with Game Workers Unite! (GWU), a so-called “grass-roots” worker group founded in Southern California in 2018 to spur unionization in the gaming industry. As here, such groups typically are founded and funded by established labor organizations.

Top Five Labor Law Developments for December 2019

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced comprehensive changes to its election procedures, largely revamping the Obama-era “quickie” election rules. The new rules will slow down the election process greatly.

NLRB Returns to Time-Honored Standard for Post-Arbitral Deferral

The National Labor Relations Board recently overturned a decision issued in 2014 and returned to its time-honored standard for post-arbitral deferral in unfair labor practice cases alleging discipline or discharge in violation of Sections 8(a)(1) and (3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

In 2020, Resolve to Learn About the National Labor Relations Act

Some employers may think the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a law that does not apply to them because their employees are not represented by unions. However, the NLRA’s coverage is much broader than just union relationships. Below are 10 reasons to resolve to learn more about the NLRA in 2020, even if your company is “union free.”
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