Labor Relations Update
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Paul Salvatore

Paul Salvatore provides strategic labor and employment law advice to companies, boards of directors, senior executives and general counsel in such areas as labor-management relations, major litigation, alternative dispute resolution, international labor and employment issues, and corporate transactions.

Paul negotiates major collective bargaining agreements in several industries, including real estate and construction. In 2015, he represented the NYC real estate industry’s multi-employer organization, The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RAB), in its $8 billion collective bargaining agreements with SEIU Local 32BJ. Paul also represented the Cement League, a multiemployer group of NYC area superstructure contractors, in halting an illegal strike by the Carpenters Union and negotiating a significant new collective bargaining agreement. He previously negotiated, on behalf of The Related Companies with 18 New York City construction unions, a landmark project labor agreement (PLA) for Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side, the largest private real estate development in U.S. history.

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NLRB Signals Pullback on Consequential Damages Against Unions

As we previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has indicated that it is committed to considering consequential damages as a possible make-whole remedy applicable to damages both caused by an employer’s unfair labor practice (“ULP”) and against a union for damages caused to an employer. A recent settlement agreement involving the … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Restriction on Wearing Union Insignia In Workplace Unlawful

In a continuation of the current National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) reversal of recent precedent established by the NLRB under the prior administration, on August 29, 2022, the Board held that Tesla, Inc.’s (“Tesla”) dress code violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) because employees were prevented from wearing shirts that supported their … Continue Reading

NLRB Signals New Push for Consequential Damages Is Intended to Make Employers Whole, Too

As we previously reported, National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo is committed to expanding the remedies utilized by the Board to make employees harmed by an employer’s unfair labor practice whole. As part of this commitment, GC Abruzzo has encouraged Regional Offices to consider consequential damages as a possible make-whole … Continue Reading

Case Update: Union Extortion Claims Get Another Chance after Third Circuit Remand

As promised (see prior post here), we are providing an update on the Third Circuit’s decision in Care One Management LLC et al. v. United Healthcare Workers East, et al.  As we addressed at the time, this cased involved allegations of union extortion against various nursing homes and assisted-living facilities across the Northeast as part … Continue Reading

NLRB Upholds “Successor Bar Doctrine,” Citing Labor Market Volatility

On June 28, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) voted to uphold the so-called “successor bar doctrine” in Hospital Menonita de Guyama, Inc. This doctrine provides incumbent unions with an irrebuttable presumption of majority support for at least six months after a change in employer ownership. Incumbent unions enjoy this irrebuttable presumption even if, … Continue Reading

President Biden Signs Executive Order Requiring Project Labor Agreements for Large-Scale Federal Construction Projects ($35 Million)

On February 4, 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects (the “Order”), which requires the federal government to require a project labor agreement (“PLA”) before awarding any “large-scale construction contract,” defined as a contract for which the estimated cost is $35 million or more.  The … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Rejects RICO Claim Filed Against Unions for Conduct During Corporate Campaign By Adopting A Union’s “Claim-of-Right” Defense

The Third Circuit issued a noteworthy split 2-1 decision last month, finding that a company’s claim under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) against several Unions failed, where the Unions’ tactics as part of a corporate campaign and its “extortion through fear of economic loss” directed at the company is committed to … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Adopts “Contract Coverage” Standard as Governing Standard for Unilateral Changes

The NLRB’s “contract coverage” standard for determining whether a collective bargaining agreement privileges an employer to unilaterally change terms and conditions of employment received support last week from a federal court of appeals, further solidifying the legitimacy of the relatively new standard at a time when the Board is undergoing a change in leadership and … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Overturns Board Decision Finding Unlawful Secondary Picketing, Citing Insufficient Evidence of an Intent to Coerce a Neutral Employer

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a decision by the NLRB dismissing a complaint against two joint employers alleging unlawful termination in retaliation for picketing activity. The Court, reversing the Board, found that the employees’ picket was not unlawful secondary activity and therefore did not lose the protection … Continue Reading

New York State Bill Mandating COVID-19 Safety Standards in the Workplace Provides Carve-out for Unionized Employers

As discussed in greater detail here, Governor Andrew Cuomo is poised to sign into law S.1034B/A.2681B, also referred to as the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, or the “Hero Act.” The Hero Act has two main components.  First, the state Department of Labor, in consultation with the state Department of Health, shall create … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Promises “Vigorous” Enforcement of Employees’ Rights to Engage in Workplace Advocacy Related to Social Issues and Health and Safety Concerns

On March 31, 2021, the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Peter Ohr issued a Memorandum entitled “Effectuation of the National Labor Relations Act through Vigorous Enforcement of Mutual Aid or Protection and Inherently Concerted Doctrines” to all Regional Directors.  While the Memorandum does not change NLRB precedent in any respect, it is a preview of the … Continue Reading

BREAKING: NLRB Withdraws Proposed Rule Concerning Employee-Status of Student Teachers and Research Assistants

After publishing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking over a year ago, followed by tens of thousands of public comments and many months of anticipating the final rule, the NLRB announced today that it will publish a Notice of Withdrawal of the proposed student assistant rule. Under the proposed rule, students at private colleges and universities … Continue Reading

Recent Labor Victories for Adjunct Professors Signal Likely Uptick in Contingent Faculty Organizing

Recently, adjunct professors at Elon University and Ithaca College won victories before the NLRB and an American Arbitration Association arbitrator, respectively, that further bolster the position that adjunct, or contingent, faculty members are “employees” as defined by the NLRA.  Moreover, it also suggests that there will likely be a surge of new organizing activity amongst … Continue Reading

Overruling District Court, Second Circuit Affirms Individual Employees Are Bound By Arbitration Award Prosecuted By Their Union

On July 29, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”) handed down what amounts to a significant win for the collectively-bargained dispute-resolution process set forth in the agreement between ABM Industry Groups, LLC (“ABM”) and its Union, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 30 (“Local 30” or … Continue Reading

NLRB Proposes Rule to Settle Once and For All: Student Teaching and Research Assistants Are Not “Employees”

As anticipated, today the National Labor Relations Board published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing a regulation which would establish that students at private colleges and universities who perform any services related to their studies for compensation, including teaching and research, are not “employees” within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the National Labor … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Weighs In On NLRB Test For Adjunct Faculty Unionization

Colleges and universities should take note of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s recent decision in University of Southern California v. National Labor Relations Board, Case No. 17-1149 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 12, 2019) addressing whether non-tenure track faculty at universities are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), giving them the right … Continue Reading

NLRB Rules That Graduate Students Are Employees

Earlier today, the National Labor Relations Board (“the Board”) issued its long awaited decision in Columbia University.  Not surprisingly, the Board, in a 3-1 decision, overturned 12 years of precedent by ruling that “student assistants” (including assistants engaged in research funded by external grants) who have a “common law” employment relationship with their university are … Continue Reading

Regional Director Issues First Post-Pacific Lutheran Decision

It did not take long for the fallout from the NLRB’s Pacific Lutheran University decision to begin. That decision, issued on December 16, 2014, announced new standards for (1) exercise of NLRB jurisdiction over religiously-affiliated colleges and universities; and (2) determining the managerial status of faculty members under the Supreme Court’s 1980 decision in Yeshiva … Continue Reading
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