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Labor Relations Update

Michael Lebowich

Michael Lebowich is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Labor-Management Relations Group. He represents and counsels employers on a wide range of labor and employment matters, with a particular interest in the field of traditional labor law.

Michael acts as the primary spokesperson in collective bargaining negotiations, regularly handles grievance arbitrations, assists clients in the labor implications of corporate transactions, and counsels clients on union organizing issues, strike preparation and day-to-day contract administration issues. He also has significant experience in representation and unfair labor practice matters before the National Labor Relations Board.

His broad employment law experience includes handling of race, national origin, gender and other discrimination matters in state and federal court. A significant amount of his practice is devoted to counseling clients regarding the application and practical impact of the full range of employment laws that affect our clients, including all local, state and federal employment discrimination statutes, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and state labor laws.

Michael has substantial experience in a wide variety of industries, including entertainment, broadcasting, newspaper publishing and delivery, utilities and lodging. He represents such clients as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Daily News, ABC, the ASPCA, Pacific Gas and Electric, Host Hotels and Resorts, and The Broadway League (and many of its theatre owner and producing members). Michael also has significant public sector experience representing, among others, the City of New York and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Michael is an annual guest lecturer at Columbia Business School and a board member of the Cornell School of Industrial & Labor Relations Alumni Association.

Posts by Michael Lebowich

General Counsel Office Advocates Dramatic Change to Joint Employer Standard

Posted in General Counsel, NLRB

Earlier this year, in the case of Browning –Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 32-RC-109684, the NLRB invited parties to submit briefs on whether the Board should change its long-held standards for assessing when two separate entities should be treated as “joint employers”.   Late last week, the Board’s General Counsel submitted a brief advocating for a… Continue Reading

Hail Mary: NLRB Regional Director Holds College Football Players are Employees

Posted in Bargaining units, NLRA, NLRB, Section 7, Uncategorized

On March 26, 2014, Peter Sung Ohr, the Chicago Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that members of the Northwestern University football team receiving athletic scholarships are employees, and not students, under the National Labor Relations Act, allowing them the opportunity to unionize through an NLRB election. First and Ten: A… Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Allows Discharge for Inappropriate “Tweeting”

Posted in General Counsel, NLRB, Non-Union employers, Protected activity, Section 7, Social Media

Employee use of social media remains at the forefront of issues at the National Labor Relations Board.  Coming on the heels of the NLRB General Counsel’s decision to issue a complaint against an employer who fired an employee for her postings on Facebook (the first time such on-line activities were considered “protected, concerted activity” by the… Continue Reading

Is the Board Ready to Move on Relocation Decisions?

Posted in NLRB, Relocation

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a business relocation decision in Embarq Corporation, 356 NLRB No. 125 (2011), which would not have been noteworthy if not for Chairman Liebman’s concurrence.  Chairman Liebman signaled that the Board may be ready to revisit its longstanding analysis regarding a business’ obligation to bargain with a union and… Continue Reading

The NLRB Solicits Amicus Briefs On Whether Witness Statements Must Be Handed Over to a Union

Posted in NLRB

As Ron Meisburg reported last week, the National Labor Relations Board recently announced in Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 356 N.L.R.B. No. 63 (2011) that it might reconsider its long-standing precedent that employers are not required to provide “witness statements” obtained in the course of a disciplinary investigation, to the unions representing their employees. As we anticipated, following its… Continue Reading

Roundy’s – - Is the Board Ready to Use this Union Access Case to Overturn Register Guard?

Posted in NLRB

Late last year, the Board invited interested groups to file briefs in Roundy’s, Inc., 356 NLRB No. 27 (2010), a case involving what legal standard should be applied to determine whether an employer has violated the NLRA when it prevents non-employee union representatives to access to its property.  In Sanudsky Mall Co., 329 NLRB 618 (1999),… Continue Reading

The NLRA and the Non-Union Employer: Proposed Union Rights Poster

Posted in NLRB, Non-Union employers, Rulemaking

Late last year, the National Labor Relations Board announced that it was planning on issuing a new rule that would require all employers (even those that are not currently unionized) to put up a poster detailing all of the rights (including the right to join a union) guaranteed to employees under the National Labor Relations Act.  This was the first proposed use of administrative… Continue Reading