Overlawyered » labor unions http://overlawyered.com Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:00:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Boston attack on Padma Lakshmi and crew http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/boston-attack-padma-lakshmi-crew/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=boston-attack-padma-lakshmi-crew http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/boston-attack-padma-lakshmi-crew/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:58:26 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47764 If done by anyone other than unionists, this would by now be a trending national story: The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up […]

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If done by anyone other than unionists, this would by now be a trending national story:

The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you fucking whore!”

“She was scared,” said a Top Chef crewmember who witnessed the incident.

Bravo had incurred the wrath of Charlestown-based Teamsters Local 25 by using its own production assistants as drivers, reports the Boston Herald:

The picketers lobbed sexist, racist and homophobic slurs at the rest of the cast and crew for most of the day, the website reported, and when production wrapped, the “Top Chef” crew found that tires were slashed on 14 of their cars. Milton police confirmed that the union members were “threatening, heckling and harassing” but said no arrests were made.

The Herald quotes a spokeswoman for Local 25, Melissa Hurley, sounding completely unapologetic: “As far as we’re concerned, nothing happened.” Or to put it differently: Teamsters Will Be Teamsters.

More, including the violent history that makes this incident anything but “isolated,” from the Boston Globe. I’ve posted on the curious exemption of unions from the law of harassment, stalking, hostile environment, etc. here, here (more on Philadelphia Quaker meetinghouse arson), and in various other posts, as well as in my book The Excuse Factory.

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“Police unions produce rules that protect bad actors” http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/police-unions-produce-rules-protect-bad-actors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=police-unions-produce-rules-protect-bad-actors http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/police-unions-produce-rules-protect-bad-actors/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 13:35:18 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47646 A timely reminder [Ed Krayewski, Reason] Appallingly, some unions have won provisions forbidding authorities from interviewing an officer charged with misconduct until days after an incident, which means a lawyered-up officer can, if so inclined, hold back from committing to a story until it becomes clearer what story is convenient. Krayewski: Whether Ferguson’s police chief […]

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A timely reminder [Ed Krayewski, Reason] Appallingly, some unions have won provisions forbidding authorities from interviewing an officer charged with misconduct until days after an incident, which means a lawyered-up officer can, if so inclined, hold back from committing to a story until it becomes clearer what story is convenient. Krayewski:

Whether Ferguson’s police chief or mayor are actually interested in firing this cop is hardly known. But in the current situation, their hands are tied by an intricate system of legal protections built for cops around the country. Firing Michael Brown’s killer would not make him guilty of murder. That’s what jury trials are for in this free country. But cops, who are authorized by the government to use violence to attain their goals, ought to be held to a higher standard than everyday criminals, not lower ones. A job is a privilege, not a right.

We’ve run many items over the years on this theme, including: Connecticut officer reinstated with back pay after “covering up a hit and run crash involving a fellow officer [she] was involved in a relationship with,” and police union “defends Denver cop fired for driving drunk at 143 mph”; union saves job of officer who planted white powder on suspect in a drug arrest, also in Connecticut; the comprehensively bad “Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights” package enacted in many states; etc. And closely related, from Ken White at Popehat: “Don’t Give Special Rights To Anybody! Oh, Except Cops. That’s Cool”; J.D. Tuccille, Reason.

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Labor and employment roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/labor-employment-roundup-30/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=labor-employment-roundup-30 http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/labor-employment-roundup-30/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 04:05:06 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47281 “The tie that binds public employee unions and Wall Street” [Daniel DiSalvo] “Unions Manipulate New York City’s Public Pension Funds To Punish Their Enemies” [NYT via Jim Epstein, Reason] Illinois latest state to pass “ban the box” law restricting employers’ inquiries on criminal records [Workplace Prof] Two ex-football pros file suit claiming union conspired with […]

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  • “The tie that binds public employee unions and Wall Street” [Daniel DiSalvo] “Unions Manipulate New York City’s Public Pension Funds To Punish Their Enemies” [NYT via Jim Epstein, Reason]
  • Illinois latest state to pass “ban the box” law restricting employers’ inquiries on criminal records [Workplace Prof]
  • Two ex-football pros file suit claiming union conspired with owners on concussions [Bloomberg]
  • Average Illinois public retiree’s pension rapidly narrowing gap with average salary of worker still on job [Jake Griffin Daily Herald via Reboot Illinois] By 2006, 1,600 California prison guards were making $110K+, plus more on tendency of state/local government pay to outrun private [Lee Ohanian via Tyler Cowen]
  • Great moments in employment law: Seventh Circuit says other employees’ having sex on complainant’s desk not hostile work environment when not targeted at gender [Eric B. Meyer]
  • Next step signaled in SEIU fast food protest campaign: unlawful property occupations [AP, Chicago Tribune, arrests in May]
  • Trial lawyer win: Obama federal-contractor fiat will forbid pre-dispute agreements to submit bias claims to binding arbitration [AP, AAJ jubilates]
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    Labor and employment roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/labor-employment-roundup-29/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=labor-employment-roundup-29 http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/labor-employment-roundup-29/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 04:05:58 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47107 “Telling Employee He Is ‘Eligible’ For Bonus Not Enough to Create Contractual Obligation” [Chris Parkin/Daniel Schwartz; Connecticut appeals court] Richard Epstein on Obama’s anti-LGBT-discrimination edict for federal contractors [Hoover "Defining Ideas"] D.C. Circuit panel, Janice Rogers Brown writing, strikes down DC tour guide licensing scheme [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, WaPo, Orin Kerr] “Why Progressives Shouldn’t Support Public […]

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  • “Telling Employee He Is ‘Eligible’ For Bonus Not Enough to Create Contractual Obligation” [Chris Parkin/Daniel Schwartz; Connecticut appeals court]
  • Richard Epstein on Obama’s anti-LGBT-discrimination edict for federal contractors [Hoover "Defining Ideas"]
  • D.C. Circuit panel, Janice Rogers Brown writing, strikes down DC tour guide licensing scheme [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, WaPo, Orin Kerr]
  • “Why Progressives Shouldn’t Support Public Workers Unions” [Dmitri Mehlhorn/Daily Beast]
  • “James Sherk of Heritage on Members-Only Bargaining” [On Labor]
  • As discrimination law gradually swallows all else: “Rep. Keith Ellison wants to make union organizing a civil right” [MSNBC]
  • NY Senate committee gives approval to “workplace bullying” law. On thin constitutional ice? [Hans Bader/CEI, earlier]
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    Labor roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/labor-roundup-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=labor-roundup-2 http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/labor-roundup-2/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 04:05:48 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46676 California tenure lawsuit exposes rift between Democratic establishment and teachers’ union [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner] NLRB pushing new interpretation to sweep much outsourcing into “joint employment” for labor law purposes [Marilyn Pearson, Inside Counsel] Restaurant “worker centers” campaign against tipping. Perhaps a sign their interests not fully aligned with waitstaffs’? [Ryan Williams, DC] NLRB’s edict […]

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  • California tenure lawsuit exposes rift between Democratic establishment and teachers’ union [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
  • NLRB pushing new interpretation to sweep much outsourcing into “joint employment” for labor law purposes [Marilyn Pearson, Inside Counsel]
  • Restaurant “worker centers” campaign against tipping. Perhaps a sign their interests not fully aligned with waitstaffs’? [Ryan Williams, DC]
  • NLRB’s edict against non-union employers’ confidentiality policies emblematic of its activist stance lately [Karen Michael, Times-Dispatch]
  • Three public sector unions spent $4.3 million on Connecticut state political activities in 2011-2013 cycle [Suzanne Bates, Raising Hale]
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham prepares funding rider to block NLRB “micro-union” recognition [Fred Wszolek, background]
  • “Table Dance Manager” glitch alleged: “Exotic dancers + allegedly malfunctioning software = Fair Labor lawsuit” [Texas Lawyer]
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    Podcast: home carers not obliged to pay union dues http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/harris-v-quinn-podcast/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=harris-v-quinn-podcast http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/harris-v-quinn-podcast/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 04:15:41 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47006 In more than a dozen states in recent years, governors, legislators or both have arranged through law or regulation to install unions to represent the fast-growing ranks of home health and child care workers, who in many instances are family members receiving a state stipend for looking after their own loved ones. In Harris v. […]

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    In more than a dozen states in recent years, governors, legislators or both have arranged through law or regulation to install unions to represent the fast-growing ranks of home health and child care workers, who in many instances are family members receiving a state stipend for looking after their own loved ones. In Harris v. Quinn, a five-member majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it violates the First Amendment rights of these recipients to require them to pay dues to a union of whose views and activities they may not approve. It did not alter — for now, at least — the 1977 Abood precedent under which full-fledged public workers can be required to pay such dues, instead recognizing a new category of “partial public employees.”

    I explore some of the implications in this Cato podcast with interviewer Caleb Brown. Earlier on Harris v. Quinn here.

    P.S. A tip-off from SCOTUS on where it intends to take Harris logic? One view from the Left [In These Times] Ruling is rebuke to various governors, including Maryland’s Martin O’Malley, who have employed executive orders to unionize home health carers [Marc Kilmer, MPPI; related, George Leef] Eugene Volokh dissents on the underlying “bedrock” First Amendment issue [Volokh Conspiracy] Will a teacher’s case called Friedrich v. CTA be the vehicle for revisiting Abood? [Jason Bedrick, Cato] And some clues that the first draft of Harris v. Quinn might have overturned Abood, before the majority reconsidered and pulled back [Jack Goldsmith, Sachs, Homer, at On Labor]

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    Guest post, “Harris v. Quinn: A Win for Workers’ First Amendment Rights” http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/guest-post-harris-v-quinn-win-workers-first-amendment-rights/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=guest-post-harris-v-quinn-win-workers-first-amendment-rights http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/guest-post-harris-v-quinn-win-workers-first-amendment-rights/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:11:32 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46841 Cross-posted from Cato at Liberty, a guest post from my Cato colleague Andrew Grossman: Enough is enough, the Supreme Court ruled today in Harris v. Quinn regarding the power of government to force public employees to associate with a labor union and pay for its speech. Although the Court did not overturn its 1977 precedent, Abood, allowing states to make […]

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    Cross-posted from Cato at Liberty, a guest post from my Cato colleague Andrew Grossman:

    Enough is enough, the Supreme Court ruled today in Harris v. Quinn regarding the power of government to force public employees to associate with a labor union and pay for its speech. Although the Court did not overturn its 1977 precedent, Abood, allowing states to make their workers contribute to labor unions, it declined to extend that principle to reach recipients of state subsidies—in this case, home-care workers who receive modest stipends from the state of Illinois’ Medicaid program but are not properly considered “employees” of the state.

    The Court is right that Abood is “something of an anomaly” because it sacrifices public workers’ First Amendment rights of speech and association to avoid their “free-riding” on the dues of workers who’ve chosen to join a union, the kind of thing that rarely if ever is sufficient to overcome First Amendment objections. But Abood treated that issue as already decided by prior cases, which the Harris Court recognizes it was not–a point discussed at length in Cato’s amicus briefAbood was a serious mistake, Harris concludes, because public-sector union speech on “core issues such as wages, pensions, and benefits are important political issues” and cannot be distinguished from other political speech, which is due the First Amendment’s strongest protection. A ruling along those lines would spell the end of compulsory support of public-sector unions, a major source of funds and their clout.

    It was enough, however, in Harris for the Court to decline Illinois’ invitation “to approve a very substantial expansion of Abood’s reach.” Illinois claimed that home-care workers were public employees for one purpose only: collective bargaining. But these workers were not hired or fired by the state, supervised by the state, given benefits by the state, or otherwise treated as state workers. And for that reason, Abood’s purposes, which relate only to actual “public employees,” simply do not apply. Were the law otherwise, the Court observed, “a host of workers who receive payments from a governmental entity for some sort of service would be candidates for inclusion within Abood’s reach.”

    While Harris is not a watershed opinion that remakes labor law consistent with First Amendment principles, it does put an end to the forced unionization of home-based workers, a practice that has spread to nearly a dozen states and had provided a substantial number of new workers to the labor movement in recent years. Harris also lays the groundwork for a challenge to what it calls “Abood’s questionable foundations.” If recent Roberts Court precedents like Shelby County and Citizens United are any guide, Harris is a warning shot that the Abood regime is not long for this world and that the next case will be the one to vindicate all public workers’ First Amendment rights.

    In January Andrew published a thorough preview of the issues of the case. Earlier coverage here.

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    Labor roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/labor-roundup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=labor-roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/labor-roundup/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 04:05:55 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46145 “Coming to Your Workplace Soon? Union Organizing Efforts Via the Company’s Email System” [Daniel Kaplan, Foley & Lardner] “Pennsylvania Unions Still Exempt from Harassment [Law], Continue Harassing with Impunity” [Trey Kovacs, Workplace Choice, earlier here, here, here] Music production gravitates to right to work states attract in part because union musicians less afraid of discipline […]

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  • “Coming to Your Workplace Soon? Union Organizing Efforts Via the Company’s Email System” [Daniel Kaplan, Foley & Lardner]
  • “Pennsylvania Unions Still Exempt from Harassment [Law], Continue Harassing with Impunity” [Trey Kovacs, Workplace Choice, earlier here, here, here]
  • Music production gravitates to right to work states attract in part because union musicians less afraid of discipline for taking gigs there [Variety on union's dispute with videogame-composer member]
  • New definition of “nationwide strike”: protesters show up at a few Wal-Marts, few workers pay attention [On Labor]
  • Presently constituted NLRB and U.S. Department of Labor are zealous union partisans, not impartial arbiters [Alex Bolt]
  • “Workers filing wage-and-hour lawsuits under Labor Act at record pace” [Crain's Detroit Business]
  • “Despite repeated failures, Card Check still top Big Labor priority” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
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    Behind the Gibson Guitar raid, cont’d http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/gibson/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gibson http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/gibson/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 10:58:35 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46198 They wouldn’t show him the warrant because it was sealed [Bill Frezza, Forbes]: While 30 men in SWAT attire dispatched from Homeland Security and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cart away about half a million dollars of wood and guitars, seven armed agents interrogate an employee without benefit of a lawyer. The next day […]

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    They wouldn’t show him the warrant because it was sealed [Bill Frezza, Forbes]:

    While 30 men in SWAT attire dispatched from Homeland Security and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cart away about half a million dollars of wood and guitars, seven armed agents interrogate an employee without benefit of a lawyer. The next day [Gibson Guitar CEO Henry] Juszkiewicz receives a letter warning that he cannot touch any guitar left in the plant, under threat of being charged with a separate federal offense for each “violation,” punishable by a jail term.

    Up until that point Gibson had not received so much as a postcard telling the company it might be doing something wrong….

    Juszkiewicz alleges [federal prosecutors] were operating at the behest of lumber unions and environmental pressure groups seeking to kill the market for lumber imports. “This case was not about conservation,” he says. “It was basically protectionism.”

    Earlier on the extraordinary Gibson case here.

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    Labor and employment roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/labor-employment-roundup-27/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=labor-employment-roundup-27 http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/labor-employment-roundup-27/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 04:05:40 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=45830 “House Report criticizes EEOC for litigation before conciliation” [HRM America, attention-stirring Merrily Archer survey and more] Do you gripe about upward spiral of executive salaries? Do you want to force employers into fuller pay disclosure? Be aware of the tension between those two positions [Gary Shapiro of CEI, Daily Caller] Because the union is all […]

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  • “House Report criticizes EEOC for litigation before conciliation” [HRM America, attention-stirring Merrily Archer survey and more]
  • Do you gripe about upward spiral of executive salaries? Do you want to force employers into fuller pay disclosure? Be aware of the tension between those two positions [Gary Shapiro of CEI, Daily Caller]
  • Because the union is all about respect: Laborers/LIUNA brings giant inflatable rat to St. Louis funeral home [KTVI]
  • Reality-based: “during five of last six federal minimum wage increases, nation fell into recession” [Thomas Firey, Cato via @scottlincicome] Minimum wage and automation [Ira Stoll, earlier]
  • Minnesota legislature expands employer regulation under apple-pie heading of “Women’s Economic Security Act” [Courtney Ward-Reichard guest-posting at Daniel Schwartz's] How well are state-mandated employee leaves working in California? [Coyote]
  • “EEOC continues fight against severance agreements, while employers fight back” [Jon Hyman, earlier on CVS case]
  • OSHA targets auto suppliers in South for enforcement crackdown, rationale to be supplied later [Sean Higgins, DC Examiner via Instapundit ("Well, he can't come right out and say it's about hurting non-union shops")]
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