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The Evolving Definition of Joint Employers

The National Labor Relations Board and various union-backed organizations are ratcheting up efforts aimed at changing the landscape of who qualifies as a joint employer. Right now, these aggressive efforts are most pronounced in the franchise industry where the NLRB and other organizations continue to push an agenda of making franchisors – fast food chains for example – joint employers with their franchisees. As part of this ongoing campaign, the NLRB’s general counsel issued a ruling finding that a major retailer should be treated as a joint employer with franchisees.

Texas Federal Court Upholds Legality of NLRB Election Rule

In a closely watched case, Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc., et al v. NLRB,* a federal district court judge in Texas has dismissed one of the two lawsuits filed earlier this year against the National Labor Relations Board seeking to invalidate the agency's new "ambush" election rule. The court ruled against the NLRB on the issue of "ripeness," finding that enforcement of the rule is sufficiently “likely, concrete and imminent” to allow the court to rule on its merits. The court then upheld the merits of the new rule and granted final judgment in favor of the NLRB.

Time for a Change? NLRB to Review Multi-Employer Bargaining Unit Rules

Employers routinely supplement their regular workforces with temporary employees supplied by another employer, typically a staffing agency. Under current National Labor Relations Board law, a union can organize a bargaining unit consisting of both regular and temporary employees only if both employers consent. The current law may change, however, as the Board recently granted review of an NLRB Regional Director’s decision in Miller & Anderson Inc., a case which provides the Board with an opportunity to review and possibly discard existing law that is favorable to employers.

Does no good deed go unpunished under the National Labor Relations Act?

A three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently found that employee handbook provisions drafted in 2010 supported an unfair labor practice charge, even though those provisions were replaced by acceptable language in 2013.

Beware: 11 Employment Policies on the NLRB’s Radar

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues its aggressive enforcement actions against work rules and policies it deems overbroad and infringing on an employee’s rights to engage in activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

NLRB Continues to Expand Employee Protections Under Federal Labor Law

In Sabo, Inc. the National Labor Relations Board (Board) found that the employer, a vending machine company, violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it fired an employee who had expressed concerns about job security to a co-worker. Although the employer claimed it fired the employee for spreading gossip about her co-worker, the Board found, in a 2-1 decision, that the employer fired the employee because she engaged in protected, concerted activity which, in this case, consisted of the employee’s discussion with her co-worker about a feared job loss.

Federal Court Upholds Federal Contractor Union Notice Requirement

Executive Summary: A federal court in the District of Columbia has upheld the validity of the Department of Labor's (DOL) rule requiring covered federal contractors to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In National Ass'n of Manufacturers v. Perez (D.D.C. May 7, 2015), the court held that the rule does not violate employers' First Amendment rights, was properly adopted, and is not preempted by the NLRA.

Is the NLRB is expanding its list of “inherently” concerted protected activities under Section 7?

Employee, fired after mentioning of a help-wanted ad to a co-worker, was fired in unlawful retaliation for engaging in “inherently concerted activity,” according to the National Labor Relations Board. Sabo, Inc. d/b/a Hoodview Vending Co. and Assoc. of Western Pulp and Paper Workers’ Union, 362 NLRB No. 81, April 30, 2015).

Preventive Strategies Second Quarter 2015

A bulletin on employment, labor, benefits and immigration law for employers.

NLRB's General Counsel Confirms an Employer is Not Required to Provide Information Relating to a Union's Unsupported Belief that Two Separate Subsidiaries are Operating as One

Executive Summary: In a case handled by FordHarrison attorneys, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel recently held that an employer was not required to provide information regarding the non-bargaining unit employees of a separate subsidiary to the union representing its employees. Dismissing unfair labor practice charges filed against the employer, the General Counsel held that the union failed to present objective evidence that the two subsidiaries were acting as a single employer; accordingly it was not entitled to information on the non-bargaining unit employees. See ABM Indus., Inc., NLRB Div. of Advice, No. 18-CA-136876 and 19-CA-124390, April 8, 2015, (released April 22, 2015).