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Posts in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
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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By T. Christopher Bailey on May 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

EmailThreatening to overturn current Board precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) has invited interested individuals and organizations to submit briefs addressing whether employees should have the right to use employer-provided e-mail and electronic communications systems for union organizing and any other activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). A successful effort by the Board will require both union and non-union employers to review their communications policies to ensure compliance with the NLRA.

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By T. Christopher Bailey on April 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

College style football on field with a pile of moneyIn a decision with the potential to change the landscape of major college sports, a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) ruled that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are employees of the university and, therefore, entitled to hold an election to decide whether or not they wish to be represented by a union. Northwestern University immediately stated its intent to appeal the ALJ’s decision, and this matter is likely to end up working its way through the federal courts, and possibly the US Supreme Court.

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By Dennis Collins on February 12, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Vote red grunge stampOn February 5, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board announced proposed amendments to its regulations, which would make it easier for unions to organize employees. The proposed amendments would permit unions to hold workplace elections more quickly after filing an election petition. The majority of elections now take place 45 to 60 days after the union obtains necessary signatures to file a petition. It is estimated that the proposed amendments would shorten the time period by days or even weeks.

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By Kathi Chestnut on December 31, 2013 at 2:45 PM

2014cubes-smallWith 2013 at its close, let’s take a peek at two cases currently pending in the United States Supreme Court that will have implications for employers in 2014.

Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp.

On February 19, 2013, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review a decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals holding that time spent donning and doffing protective gear, as well as time spent traveling from the locker room to work stations, constituted “changing clothes” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) §203(o), thus excluding the activities from being considered work time under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers union. The briefing is complete and the Supreme Court held oral argument on November 4, 2013, so a decision should be forthcoming soon.

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By Kathi Chestnut on December 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Resolution Conflict Buttons Show Fighting Or ArbitrationClass and collective action lawsuits, particularly in the area of wage and hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and state law, continue to be on the rise and are difficult and costly for employers to defend. A newly decided case reminds us that employers should consider the use of mandatory arbitration agreements that waive class action lawsuits for employment disputes.

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