Posts Tagged ‘National Labor Relations Board’

Labor roundup

  • Forget about event permits unless you hire union? Feds arrest Boston mayor’s tourism aide on extortion charges [Connor Wolf/Daily Caller, Boston Herald, indictment, WCVB (auto-plays)]
  • Georgia to feds: franchise law is state law, and you’re not free to tear up its terms to favor unions [International Franchise Association, Connor Wolf/Daily Caller]
  • Unique California farm-labor law binds growers to “contracts” they never signed. Is that even constitutional? [Ilya Shapiro, Cato] Upstate farmers furious over Gov. Cuomo’s move to unionize farm labor in New York [City and State]
  • NLRB strikes down innocuous handbook provision expecting employees to maintain “positive” workplace environment [Jon Hyman] “Is it time for a new NLRB rule on handbook policies?” [same]
  • “Funding Ideology, Not Research, at University of California ‘Labor Institutes'” [Steven Greenhut, Reason]
  • NLRB Philadelphia regional director, criticized over role in pro-union fund, suspended for 30 days [Law360, Labor Union Report]

Labor roundup

  • Feared Philadelphia union boss launches program to use drones to surveill non-union worksites [William Bender, Philly.com (“got into a fistfight with a nonunion electrical contractor – and broke his nose – at a construction site at Third and Reed.”)]
  • “We know where you live” continued: U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez’s “persuader rule” exposes lawyers and other professionals to intimidation, creates legal minefield for employers expressing opinion [The Hill, Jon Hyman, earlier]
  • Richard Epstein on labor unions [Libertarianism.org podcast discussion with Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus]
  • Actions protected as “concerted” by labor law include some taken by individual employee entirely alone, according to National Labor Relations Board, as it declares unlawful company policy against secretly taping conversations at the workplace [Jon Hyman, Whole Foods case]
  • “Brace for more litigation based on feds’ new joint employment guidance, labor lawyers tell companies” [ABA Journal; Insurance Journal on Browning-Ferris; Daniel Schwartz; earlier] Applying NLRB joint employer notion to company like McDonald’s could blow up franchise business model, which some union advocates might not mind [Diana Furchtgott-Roth]
  • Judge Merrick Garland shows great deference to NLRB, except in cases where it has ruled for an employer [Bill McMorris, Free Beacon]

Labor and employment roundup

  • Immigration-related rules on the one hand, national-origin discrimination rules on the other: “Employers could get sued for following the law” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
  • Should anyone doubt labor relations as an academic field tilts way left, here are numbers [Mitchell Langbert, Econ Journal Watch]
  • Connecticut high court opens door to letting kids of dismissed workers sue employers for lost consortium, on top of suits filed by the parents themselves [Daniel Schwartz]
  • Obama scheme to yank millions of workers off salaried status is a real economic menace [Trey Kovacs, CEI, earlier]
  • Panel discussion marks 80th anniversary of National Labor Relations Act with lawprofs Richard Epstein and John Raudabaugh, Bill Samuel (AFL-CIO) and Mark Schneider (Machinists), moderated by Hon. Joan Larsen of Michigan Supreme Court [Federalist Society video, National Lawyers Conference]
  • “Employment-related class action settlements hit high in 2015” [12th annual Seyfarth Shaw Workplace Class Action Litigation Report via Staffing Industry Analysts] EEOC Employee Charge trends, annual report [Hiscox, and note map on p. 4 of employee lawsuit hotspots including Illinois, California, Nevada, and New Mexico]

Even the NLRB can’t comply with federal labor law

An administrative law judge has ruled that in 2014 the National Labor Relations Board, when it moved its headquarters to a different building in Washington, D.C., failed to carry out its obligation under federal labor law to fully negotiate the terms of the move with the union representing its workers. So if you’re a private company that feels constantly tripped up by the NLRB’s administration of the National Labor Relations Act, don’t feel bad: even the agency tormenting you can’t manage to comply [NLRB and NLRB Union, FLRA.gov via Jon Nadler]

Labor and employment roundup

  • A good labor economics class lets you see through society’s secular religion [Bryan Caplan first, second, and third (“Why labor fallacies have replaced industrial organization fallacies in society’s secular religion”) posts]
  • “Meet The Obama Czars Who Decide How Your Workplace Runs” [Connor Wolf/Daily Caller, and thanks for quote]
  • Welcome news for employers: Seventh Circuit signals it isn’t buying EEOC’s attack on severance offers in CVS case [Jon Hyman, background]
  • Can a unionized Uber or Lyft driver file a grievance over your negative comment as a customer? “It’s not at all clear how union job protection policies can jibe with a community-rating economy.” [Brian Doherty, Reason]
  • Riffling through just one day’s BNA Labor Report, Michael Fox finds headlines like Firing After FMLA Request Raises Triable Issues, Recommendation Letter Saves Fired Professor’s Bias Suit, and Commission Seeks Comment on Workplace Murder Case [Employer’s Lawyer]
  • Disney exec: here’s our plan to engage in racial discrimination in hiring journalists [Ira Stoll, Future of Capitalism] Have they compared notes with BuzzFeed Canada? [Mediaite]
  • On minimum wage, New York Times editors find Hillary Clinton overly tethered to economic reality, urge cutting of final moorings [Charles Hughes, Cato] “The Evidence Is Piling Up That Higher Minimum Wages Kill Jobs” [David Neumark, WSJ]

“Theater of the Absurd: The NLRB Takes on the Employee Handbook”

In a 45-page booklet, the U.S. Chamber talks back at the National Labor Relations Board over its push in recent years to forbid, as violations of labor law, a wide range of employer workplace rules:

Through a series of decisions and official guidance, the NLRB has undertaken a campaign to outlaw heretofore uncontroversial rules found in employee handbooks and in employers’ social media policies—rules that employers maintain for a variety of legitimate business reasons… The NLRB has gone to outlandish lengths to find commonsense workplace policies unlawful … the Board’s irrational interpretations of the law have created a serious headache for employers and employees looking for stability and common sense in labor relations.

More here. Jon Hyman summarizes the areas covered:

* Confidentiality of workplace investigations
* Employee misconduct
* Communications and non-disparagement
* Protection of intellectual property and confidentiality of company information
* At-will disclaimers
* Non-solicitation
* Dress codes

Labor roundup

  • “NLRB: Unions have a right to know employees home phone numbers. If firms don’t have them, they must obtain them.” [@JamesBSherk summarizing Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner on Danbury Hospital case]
  • Subpoenas get NLRB into redaction fight with McDonald’s [Sean Higgins/Examiner; more on joint-employer battle from International Franchise Association via Connor Wolf, Daily Caller]
  • George Leef reviews Daniel DiSalvo’s book on public sector unionism, Government Against Itself [Forbes]
  • “Seattle May Soon Force Uber And Lyft Drivers To Unionize” [Connor Wolf/Caller]
  • Your periodic reminder that the “add union organizing to protected classes under civil rights law” formula is one of the worst ideas ever [Jon Hyman, Wolf/Caller on Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.)]
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch: my proposed Employee Rights Act would “allow workers a greater role in how their union represents them” [Washington Times, background at Washington Examiner]
  • Philadelphia union extortion and violence episode is a reminder it’s past time to revisit 1973 SCOTUS case of U.S. v. Enmons which tended to give a green light to such things [Mark Mix, Washington Times]

Labor and employment roundup

  • The Bernie-Sanders-ized Democratic Party: $15/hour minimum for tipped workers now a platform plank [Evan McMorris-Santoro, BuzzFeed]
  • Austin’s new ban on unlicensed household hauling will hurt informal laborers without helping homeowners [Chuck DeVore]
  • Ellen Pao drops suit against Kleiner Perkins, complaining that California job-bias law, often considered among the nation’s most pro-plaintiff, is against her [ArsTechnica, earlier]
  • “Court of Appeals Reverses Board Decision Allowing Employees to Wear ‘Inmate,’ ‘Prisoner’ Shirts in Customer Homes” [Seth Borden, McGuireWoods]
  • “New Jersey’s Supreme Court has dramatically expanded the state’s whistleblower law… the Court’s decision confirms that CEPA likely is the most far-reaching whistleblowing statute in the U.S.” [New Jersey Civil Justice Association, more, Ford Harrison]
  • In NLRB-land, an employee can act all by himself and it will still be “concerted” action protected as such under the NLRA [Jon Hyman]
  • New York City government to invest in hiring halls for day laborers [New York Daily News]

NLRB’s “impractical, dangerous” Browning-Ferris ruling

Courts will eventually strike down the National Labor Relations Board’s awful Browning-Ferris ruling (earlier) extending labor-law liability across many franchising and subcontracting relationships, predicts lawyer and former NLRB member Marshall Babson at the New York Times’s “Room for Debate.” More: Sean Hackbarth, U.S. Chamber. And my Cato piece on the ruling has been reprinted at the Foundation for Economic Education.

P.S. Republicans introduce bill to overturn ruling, prospects uncertain so long as Democrats in position to sustain presidential veto.

“Union leaders are livid”

Scott Walker has announced a far-reaching package of labor reforms going far beyond the cautious Republican norm, including abolishing the NLRB and transferring its power to other agencies, eliminating federal unions, making right-to-work the default federal labor law regime unless states opt out, repealing Davis-Bacon, and more. [Reason, Associated Press, Hot Air interview] Union leaders, quite understandably from their perspective, lost no time in speaking out loudly against Walker’s ideas. Why, one wonders, don’t more business people speak out as loudly against the ideas of Bernie Sanders?