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The Practical NLRB Advisor: Fall 2017

Ogletree Deakins’ Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group is pleased to announce the publication of the fall 2017 issue of the Practical NLRB Advisor. This issue considers how the confirmation of management-side attorney Peter B. Robb as the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel will affect labor law policy. With the Senate’s confirmation of Robb to replace outgoing General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr., the agency appears headed for significant change.

Could Labor Law Waivers Foster Legislative Change And Spur The Gig Economy?

It is no secret that labor laws have been unable to keep pace with the changing economy. Recently, however, it appears the effort to spur change has been resuscitated, as proposals come in from the left (former SIEU head Andrew Stern) and the right (R Street Institute’s Eli Lehrer and Garret Watson), and pressure is applied from the bench (eastern Pennsylvania federal judge Hon. Michael Baylson).

Congress One Step Closer to Restoring NLRB’s Joint Employer Standard

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the “Save Local Business Act” (H.R. 3441), which would add a new, narrow definition of “employer” to the National Labor Relations Act (and the Fair Labor Standards Act) and which clarifies the definition of joint employment under both federal statutes.

What Did National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard Griffin’s Term Mean for Employers?

Richard F. Griffin, Jr.’s term as National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel (GC) was marked by a dogged defense and pursuit of bolstering the rights of unions and employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Auto Manufacturer Pays Over $20 Million To Settle Union Dispute

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently announced that it negotiated a $21.6 million settlement on behalf of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to settle allegations that VIUSA, Inc. refused to hire a group of Teamster-represented workers at the Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the October 30 announcement, the NLRB will distribute about $14.4 million in backpay to about 257 workers as payment for VIUSA’s allegedly “casting aside” Teamsters Local 89 employees in favor of United Auto Workers (UAW) employees at lower wages. The remaining $7.2 million will go to the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund to compensate for missed benefit contributions.

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat: Illinois Home Health Aides Must Sue Individually To Recoup Fair Share Fees

Home health aides who successfully objected to the collection of “fair share” fees without their consent may not proceed as a class, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled, affirming a lower court’s determination. Riffey v. Rauner, No.16-3487 (7th Cir. Oct. 11, 2017).

Senate Committee Approves Trump’s NLRB General Counsel Nominee

A critical National Labor Relations Board nomination was approved by the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on October 18, 2017, according to Bloomberg BNA. Management-side labor attorney Peter Robb’s nomination to be the Board’s next General Counsel has been long-anticipated by those interested in seeing changes in the agency’s doctrinal jurisprudence. The HELP Committee’s approval of Robb positions him for consideration by the full Senate.

Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The NLRB’s War On Employer Rules?

Employers who have been keeping up with the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decisions over the past eight years may be pleasantly shocked to learn that an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) just upheld an employer’s seemingly broad rule providing that “all documents are considered confidential” and are not to be “taken off the premises.” They also will be shocked to learn that the same ALJ upheld the employer’s blanket rule prohibiting texting anywhere.

What Behavioral Psychology Has to Do With Union Avoidance: Reflections From a Labor Lawyer

As a traditional labor lawyer, I spend a great deal of time traveling the country to assist clients, and I spend a lot of that time in airports and on airplanes reading. On a recent trip, I read The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis, which discusses the research two psychologists conducted on the psychology of decision-making. The research, which concluded that people often err when making decisions despite access to information that should help them, got me thinking about how employees act in the face of union campaigns.

Blockbuster Union Fees Issue Returns to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a landmark case involving the dues unions collect to support their collective bargaining efforts. The case affects millions of teachers and other public school employees and could potentially deal a significant setback to unions.