Labor Relations Update
Michael Lebowich

Michael Lebowich

Partner

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.

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Micro-Units under the Microscope: The Second and Fifth Circuit Courts Consider Specialty Healthcare and Its Misapplication

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit joined the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits in upholding the Board’s Specialty Healthcare standard for determining appropriate bargaining units under the National Labor Relations Act, although with a very skeptical eye on how it applied.  Constellation Brands, U.S. Operations, Inc. v. NLRB, … Continue Reading

Permanent Pause to Persuader Rule: Texas Court Issues Permanent Nationwide Injunction

On November 16, 2016, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Perez, No. 5:16-cv-00066, a federal judge in Texas issued a permanent injunction  preventing the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) from enforcing its new interpretation of the Labor-Management Disclosure Act’s “Persuader Rule.”  The new DOL interpretation would have required far more expansive public disclosure by law … Continue Reading

Stuck With It: Labor Board Forces Employers to Recognize Bargaining Units that Contain Employees of Two or More Separate Employers

Returning to a decision it made 16 years ago (but was overturned just 4 years after that), the National Labor Relations Board has once again ruled that it will certify a bargaining unit containing individuals from two or more separate employers without those employers’ consent. In Miller & Anderson, Inc., Case 05–RC–079249 (July 11, 2016), … Continue Reading

In for the Long Haul as the Fifth Circuit Upholds NLRB’s “Quickie” Election Rule

Last April, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) implemented it’s new expedited union representation procedures. On June 10, 2016, in Associated Builders and Contrs. Of Tex v. NLRB, 15-cv-50487  2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10552 (5th Cir. June 10, 2016) the Fifth Circuit upheld the new procedures, commonly called “quickie” election rules – – rejecting the … Continue Reading

Board Reverses 32-Year-Old Rule Allowing Employers to Oust Mixed-Guard Unions

For thirty-two years, it has been a settled proposition that an employer may, upon the expiration of a contract, refuse to continue to negotiate with a “mixed-guard” union that represents its security guards. Continuing its long path of upsetting established precedent, on June 9, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) reversed this … Continue Reading

NLRB Requests Amicus Briefs in Two Significant Cases

On Friday, February 19, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board invited interested individuals and organizations to file amicus briefs on two important legal issues where the Board is considering overturning existing precedent. In one case, King Soopers, Inc., NLRB, No. 27-CA-129598 (2/19/16), the NLRB’s General Counsel has asked the Board to change its long-standing practice … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues Union Friendly Decision Regarding Applicability of Quickie Rules: When 94% Just Ain’t Enough

With that the NLRB’s quickie election rules going into effect in April 2015, we are just now starting to see the Board decide cases applying the new rules. In Danbury Hospital, Case 01-RC-153086, the Regional Director for Region 1 on October 16, 2015, lent his interpretation to one of the new requirements of the quickie … Continue Reading

The National Labor Relations Board says “Happy Labor Day” with Flurry of Late Summer Pro-Union Moves

While some people may have been on vacation at the end of August, the past few weeks have been extremely busy at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”), with a series of decisions that will continue to make it easier for unions to organize non-union employers. Virtual Organizing Has Arrived! The General Counsel … Continue Reading

Too Close for Comfort? NLRB Departs from Long Standing Joint Employer Standard

Citing “changing economic circumstances, particularly the recent dramatic growth in contingent employment relationships,” in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (August 27, 2015), a 3-2 National Labor Relations Board majority (Pearce, Hirozawa, McFerran) significantly revised and broadened the standard for assessing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. The primary justification … Continue Reading

General Counsel Office Advocates Dramatic Change to Joint Employer Standard

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

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”

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?

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

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?

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

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
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