Labor Relations Update

Category Archives: Bargaining units

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The Devil Is In the Details: New Board Members Likely To Change Law In Nuanced Ways

The end of September in most years sees a spate of new NLRB decisions, sometimes dozens, issued on or about September 30, to coincide with the end of the agency’s fiscal year.  Not so this past September 30 because of the recent changeover from a majority of Democrat Board Members to a majority of Republican … Continue Reading

Union Adherent’s Antics Not Protected By Act, NLRB Rules

The NLRB recently issued a rare decision completely dismissing all allegations against an employer; rarer still because it was unanimous.  In Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital, 365 NLRB No. 79 (May 15, 2017) the NLRB was confronted with a situation where an employee-union adherent engaged in behavior ultimately found to be inappropriate and unprotected. The employer, a … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Micro-Union Standard May Be Set For Reversal

Change is coming.  We noted recently that the administration is thinking about changing the newly adopted persuader regulations.  We also know that a majority of make-up of the NLRB is likely to shift very soon, and with it some of the precedents of the last few years will be reversed.  Newly appointed Chairman Miscimarra seems to be reiterating what … Continue Reading

17 Year Old Ruling In Representation Case Can Preclude New Claim For Employees, Divided NLRB Rules

Of all the changes to the law the NLRB has made in the last several years, the most significant involve how the agency determines bargaining units.  For example, the NLRB’s decision in Specialty Healthcare drastically altered the manner in which bargaining units were determined by the Regional Directors and the NLRB.  Also, the NLRB’s ambush election rules also … Continue Reading

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

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

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

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Trend in Easing Unionization Continues with Recent Decision

The National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision last month in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, in which it significantly modified the standards for determining:  (1) whether college or university faculty members are managerial employees and thus not protected by the National Labor Relations Act; and (2) when the Board should decline to exercise … Continue Reading

NLRB Refines Its Test for Independent Contractor Status

The National Labor Relations Board, with one member dissenting, has issued a decision in which it “refines” the test it uses for determining whether it will find individuals performing services for an employer to be employees, who are covered by the National Labor Relations Act, or independent contractors, who are not.  The case is FedEx … Continue Reading

Department Store Units Decided Under Specialty Healthcare

This week the NLRB decided two cases involving union organizing in large department stores. In each case an NLRB regional director applied the Board’s Specialty Healthcare test to determine whether the bargaining unit requested by the union was appropriate. In Specialty Healthcare, the Board held that a unit will be presumptively appropriate for collective bargaining … 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

Sixth Circuit Upholds Board’s Decision in Specialty Healthcare

In the first judicial challenge to the NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has upheld the Board. In Specialty Healthcare the Board held that it will find a petitioned for unit appropriate where the unit is made up of (i) an identifiable group of employees (ii) who share a community of interest with … Continue Reading

NLRB Developments Post-Election – What The Future May Hold In Labor Relations

Now that the election is over, one of the main questions being asked is, what next?  We recently held a Webinar entitled “The Latest at the NLRB and Post-Election Developments” to address this question.  It seems clear that with Congress still divided that there likely will not be much in the way of legislative change.  The pressing issues … Continue Reading

Micro Union Case Hits Federal Court Of Appeals

One of the NLRB’s most sweeping decisions in decades, Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB No. 83 (August 26, 2011).pdf, has reached a federal appeals court, as the employer seeks to have the decision overturned.  As we have previously discussed, the Board in this case established the micro union standard, where the bargaining unit sought by a … Continue Reading

NLRB Reveals More Details To Proposed Election Rule Changes

As we reported earlier, the NLRB announced it was ready to vote on some proposed amendments to the rules concerning representation elections. There was no indication in the original announcement of about the substance of the changes. On November 29, 2011, NLRB Chairman Mark Pierce disclosed more information in the form of a Board Resolution. … Continue Reading

NLRB To “Vote” On Quickie Election Rules November 30

The NLRB announced today that it was going to hold a vote on its proposed regulations to upend the well established and longstanding representation case procedures.  According to the NLRB’s announcement today, the vote is over “whether to adopt a small number of amendments” proposed earlier this year. This may well be the understatement of … Continue Reading

Blizzard part 2: NLRB Reverses Dana and MV Transportation

The scope of the blizzard is becoming more defined as the NLRB rolls out decisions it reached in the waning days of Chairman Liebman’s term. As previously reported on this blog, the NLRB was considering reversing Dana Corp, 351 NLRB 434 (2007) where it held that employees who become represented by a union pursuant to … Continue Reading

Blizzard begins: NLRB Adopts Micro Union Standard

As previously discussed, the impending departure of Chairman Liebman, as well as the coming of the end of the NLRB’s fiscal year, made it highly likely we would see some significant decisions issued by the agency.  Chairman Liebman departed after fourteen years on Saturday, but not before having one last word about her critics.  The New York Times’ Steven Greenhouse captured perfectly a … Continue Reading

NLRB Quickie Election Rules Closer To Reality As Comments Are Filed

The NLRB’s initiative to upend the well-established, and by its own declarations “outstanding”, representation election procedures took one step closer to reality yesterday when the initial period for filing comments on the proposed rules closed.  As I noted previously in this blog, the “quickie” or “ambush” elections contemplated by the NLRB’s proposed rules represent an attempt to introduce sweeping change when … Continue Reading

The Lull Before The Storm: Blizzard Of NLRB Activity Coming

The mid-point of Summer has passed.  Although the NLRB has not issued a major decision in several weeks, the agency has not been slacking off this Summer.  In a typical year, August and September are the busiest months for the NLRB, because the federal government’s fiscal year ends September 30.  During the final weeks of the … Continue Reading

Briefs filed in NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare case

What a difference a few months can make.  Last December, in Specialty Healtcare and Rehabilitation of Mobile the NLRB invited interested parties to file briefs to consider a number of questions about whether it should consider adopting a new “one size fits all” rule for bargaining units in nursing homes (called “nonacute care” facilities).  The case … Continue Reading
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