On September 9, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its decision in The Boeing Company, 368 NLRB No. 67 (2019), clarifying an earlier ruling and reinstating the traditional community of interest standard for bargaining unit determinations.
Articles Discussing Collective Bargaining Units.
After the NLRB adopted a new standard for determining bargaining-unit composition, many expected fewer micro-units would result. PCC Structurals, 365 NLRB No. 160 (2017) (PCC I). However, when the employer filed a request for review (appeal) of the Regional Director’s decision allowing, on remand, a “micro-unit” of its employees to vote on union representation under the new standard, the NLRB denied it. PCC Structurals, Inc., No. 19-RC-202188 (Nov. 28, 2018) (PCC II).
Drones fly over the jobsite, snapping photos of progress and scanning the area for possible safety concerns. A 3D-printer churns out customized parts and scaled models. A remote-controlled robot lays bricks meticulously, with near-perfect precision and five times faster than a human.
Executive Summary: On December 15, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) overruled Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB 934 (2011), which required an “overwhelming community of interest” when determining the appropriateness of a bargaining unit, and returned to the “traditional community of interest” standard that the Board has applied throughout most of history. See PCC Structurals, Inc. and International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, District Lodge W24, Case 19-RC-202188.
The National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s Division of Operations Management has issued a sweeping Memorandum to Regional Offices setting forth a variety of circumstances under which those offices should process “currently active [representation] cases” applying the NLRB’s recent decision (PCC Structurals, Inc.) that overruled Specialty Healthcare.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has denied, 9-6, a retailer’s request for a rehearing of the decision of a three-judge panel of the Court upholding the National Labor Relations Board’s decision that the retailer must bargain with a unit limited to employees in its cosmetic and fragrance department. Macy’s, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-60022 (Nov. 18, 2016).
In a departure from more than a decade-long precedent, the National Labor Relations Board has held that Board-conducted representation elections in bargaining units combining employees who are (a) jointly employed by a user employer and supplier employer and (b) solely employed by the user employer do not require the consent of either employer. Miller & Anderson, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 39 (July 11, 2016).
In a widely anticipated decision, the National Labor Relations Board has reversed its 2004 decision in Oakwood Care Center,1 and determined a union seeking to represent employees in a bargaining unit composed of employees solely employed by a “user employer” (a company that hires temporary workers) and those jointly employed by the user employer and temporary labor provider is not required to obtain the consent of both employers. In Miller & Anderson, Inc.,2 the Board held that in determining if a combined unit is appropriate, it will apply traditional “community of interest” factors.
Executive Summary: In a July 11, 2016, decision that will make it easier for unions to organize temporary employees, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled existing precedent and held a union may represent a bargaining unit consisting of both regular employees and temporary employees supplied by another employer even if the employers do not consent. See Miller & Anderson, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 39 (2016). Previously, the NLRB would not permit an election in a bargaining unit that combined employees from more than one employer unless all employers agreed. This decision increases the likelihood that employers who use temporary employees will become enmeshed in labor relations disputes involving those temporary employees.
A divided National Labor Relations Board has overturned its 30-year-old rule that an employer may withdraw recognition, even without a showing of a loss of majority status, from a voluntarily-recognized union that represents both guards and non-guards (“mixed-guard union”) with respect to a unit of guards.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, is the latest circuit court to uphold the National Labor Relations Board’s restrictive “micro-unit” approach to voting units in NLRB elections adopted in Specialty Healthcare, 357 NLRB No. 83 (2011). Macy’s Inc. v. NLRB, No. 15-60022 (5th Cir. June 2, 2016).
Labor and employment-related bills are once again becoming popular at the federal level. With less than a month before the April 14 effective date of the National Labor Relations Board’s “ambush” election rule, and the same day the House approved a resolution to try to stop the rule’s implementation, lawmakers are attempting to shape labor-management relations through other means.
In a move that could have a dramatic impact on the franchise business model, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard Griffin has announced that his office intends to name a parent franchisor as a respondent in cases involving alleged unfair labor practices committed by franchisees if the parties are unable to reach a settlement. According to the Board, the agency is currently investigating the various charges, and may name the franchisor company as a joint employer should a complaint be issued.
On Thursday, August 15, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile,1 affirming that the Board has broad discretion to determine appropriate bargaining units for union representation elections, including narrow so-called “micro-units.”
Executive Summary: The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Specialty Healthcare, which requires employers to prove employees share an “overwhelming community of interest” to successfully challenge the composition of a bargaining unit. The court held that: (1) the Board may depart from its own precedent if it explains its decision and the departure is not arbitrary and capricious; (2) the Board’s clarification and use of its “overwhelming community-of-interest” standard was clearly explained and therefore not an abuse of its discretion: (3) the Board did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) because it based its decision on factors beyond the extent of the union’s organization efforts; and (4) the Board did not abuse its discretion by choosing to follow an already existing principle through adjudication instead of rulemaking. See Kindred Nursing Centers East v. NLRB (Aug. 15, 2013).