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Posts in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
By Katherine Fechte on June 19, 2017 at 1:35 PM

Image of the Department of Justice (DOJ) buildingIn what is considered an “unprecedented action,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) has switched sides to argue on behalf of employers, and against the position of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in the U.S. Supreme Court battle over employment agreements mandating arbitration. The DOJ said Friday that it no longer supports workers in the case NLRB v. Murphy Oil, which addresses whether an employment contract that requires the employee to waive his or her right to bring a class-action lawsuit against the employer violates the National Labor Relations Act.

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Business shoes moving from 2016 to 20172016 was a busy year for employment law developments on a national level, and 2017 promises to follow suit. To help employers navigate the changes, here is a summary of major developments that may affect your business this year.

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By Lauren Daming on June 6, 2016 at 11:41 AM

Circuit split: Do class and collective action waivers in employment agreements violate the NLRAOn May 26, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in Lewis v. Epic Systems, agreeing with the National Labor Relations Board’s position that mandatory arbitration agreements that prohibit employees from bringing class or collective claims violate the National Labor Relations Act. It was the first appellate court decision to accept the board’s stance, breaking with the Fifth Circuit and teeing up the final resolution of the validity of class waivers for the U.S. Supreme Court.

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By Megha Shah on December 28, 2015 at 8:45 AM

In the aftermath of a significant change in the joint employer standard this year, several states are attempting to address how franchisors are affected.

In August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. d/b/a BFI Newby Recyclery, 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015), drastically expanding the standard for determining whether an entity was a joint employer. (See our blog post about it here). In doing so, the NLRB veered away from precedent that required a showing that a company exerted actual control over the employees of another company in order for the first company to be considered a joint employer.

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By Katherine Fechte, T. Christopher Bailey on September 23, 2015 at 11:14 AM

The National Labor Relations Board has long held employers cannot stifle employee communications about the conditions of their employment in general handbook confidentiality clauses, but on Aug. 27, the NLRB took that prohibition one step further.

In a 2-1 decision, the board ruled The Boeing Co.’s confidentiality restriction for employees under HR investigations violated the National Labor Relations Act. (Boeing Co., 2015 BL 278958, 362 N.L.R.B. No. 195, 8/27/15.)

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By Beata Krakus, T. Christopher Bailey on August 31, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Reversing course from more than 30 years of precedent, the National Labor Relations Board significantly expanded its standard for determining when two entities constitute a single joint employer over a unit of employees. In so doing, the NLRB creates questions about a number of entity relationships such as parent corporation/subsidiary, contractor/subcontractor and franchisor/franchisee relationships.

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By Lauren Daming on January 16, 2015 at 1:24 PM

The modern laptopReversing existing Board precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) recently ruled that employers that allow employees access to work e-mail systems must presumptively allow their employees to use those e-mail systems for union activity during non-work time. This reversal of long-standing precedent has potentially far-reaching consequences and, at minimum, will require both union and non-union employers to review their communications policies to ensure compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).

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By Beata Krakus on December 22, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Today the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) took its next step in the investigation of labor practices within the McDonald’s franchise system and issued consolidated complaints against McDonald’s franchisees and the franchisor – McDonald’s USA, LLC on the theory that the franchisor is a joint employer with its franchisees. Consistent with General Counsel’s amicus brief in the Browning-Ferris matter that was filed this summer, the focus of the complaints appear to be on the use of technology and tools that allows franchisors insight and potential control over franchisee operations.

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By Amy Blaisdell on October 13, 2014 at 3:52 PM

j0399041In the last few months, several court decisions have found large classes of workers to be improperly classified as independent contractors rather than employees. These class action cases are filed in federal and state courts throughout the country seeking the payment of minimum wage, overtime, penalties, attorneys’ fees, employee benefits and expenses, among other damages. Although FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. has been at the heart of several recent decisions, the issue is not isolated to FedEx nor to delivery drivers. Rather, a survey of recent cases and agency actions makes it clear that the judiciary, Internal Revenue Service, United States Department of Labor, and state agencies are all looking with exacting scrutiny at independent contractor relationships and are erring on the side of finding workers to be employees. Consequently, all companies that use independent contractors – regardless of their size – should think about the impact of the emerging cases on their workforces.

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By Beata Krakus, T. Christopher Bailey on July 30, 2014 at 8:54 AM

franchiseIn a decision that could have far-reaching legal implications for franchisors, on July 29, 2014, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that McDonald’s was a joint employer of its franchisees’ employees. This decision stems from allegations that McDonald’s and its franchisees violated employees’ rights following protests pertaining to wages and working conditions.

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