NLRB General Counsel Offers Input on Practical Effects of Noel Canning

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/11/2014
As Randi Klein Hyatt discussed recently, the Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning is expected to have significant ramifications for the NLRB (the “Board”) and the parties who previously appeared before the Board in 2012 and the first half of 2013, when the unconstitutional recess appointments of Members Block, Flynn and Griffin continued to leave the NLRB without a quorum.  Richard Griffin, one of the three recess appointees who...
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Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Decision, "Canning" Obama's Recess NLRB Appointments

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/27/2014
As part of its end of term productivity, on Thursday, June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning,  regarding President Obama’s authority to grant recess appointments to fill vacant Board positions and avoid the Senate confirmation process of those Board members. The Noel Canning decision specifically involved President Obama’s recess appointments of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard...
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DOL Takes Action So That FMLA Applies To Same-Sex Spouses Everywhere

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/24/2014
The Department of Labor announced on June 20, 2014, that it would be issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) confirming that employees are eligible for leave to care for a same-sex spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regardless of their state of residence.  Secretary Tom Perez announced that the proposed revisions would ensure that the FMLA applied to all families equally, permitting same sex marriage partners to fully...
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Hooters “Don’t Disrespect Patrons” Rule Violates NLRA

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
05/23/2014
A NLRB ALJ has ruled that a Hooters Handbook’s Code of Conduct that listed a variety of “don’ts” – including “don’t disrespect patrons” – violates employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Hoot Winc, LLC, NLRB ALJ No. 31-CA-104872 (May 19, 2014). Yes, you read that right. There’s no question that the current NLRB is more employee friendly than it has been in a long time. There are a number of recent decisions from...
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NLRB Strikes Down Hospital Rule Against Workplace "Negativity"

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
04/03/2014
I remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wilbourne, telling us a very important rule: "if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all."  Well, its a good thing the current NLRB was not around back then, because it looks like they would have had a problem with that rule. In Hill and Dales General Hospital, 360 NLRB No. 70 (April 1, 2014), a hospital decided to change its culture, which was plagued by "back-biting and...
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NLRB Signals What's On Its Agenda

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
04/01/2014
Each year the General Counsel to the National Labor Relations Board meets with labor attorneys at the American Bar Association's Midwinter meeting of the Labor and Employment Section. In this meeting, the General Counsel answers questions about the  Board's case handling processes and priorities. On March 26, 2014, the NLRB released a memorandum summarizing the information provided by the General Counsel in this year's meeting.  For those of you...
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Goooo Team.... er, Union?

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
03/26/2014
Forget March Madness baby.  Here’s where things get interesting. The Chicago Region of the NLRB has announced its decision that Northwestern University football players are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act, and that they can vote to unionize.   Northwestern University, 13-R-121359 (March 26, 2014).   The University has indicated its intent to appeal the decision to the full NLRB in Washington. By way of background, a...
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Court Rules That Allstate Left Its Agents in Good Hands

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
03/18/2014
In 1999, Allstate Insurance Company fired all of its employee agents and offered them four alternatives:  (1) convert to an independent contractor status and continue working as an exclusive agent; (2) convert to independent contractor status and sell the book of business they had developed; (3) receive an enhanced severance equal to one year’s pay; or (4) receive a basic severance of up to thirteen weeks of pay.  The first three options were...
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EEOC Issues New Guidance On Religious Dress And Grooming Standards

The EEOC recently published new technical assistance explaining its view of how federal employment discrimination law, specifically Title VII, applies to religious dress and grooming standards.  Employers may encounter many types of religious dress and grooming practices according to the EEOC, including:  (a) wearing religious clothing or articles (e.g., a Muslim hijab, a Sikh turban, or a Christian cross); (b) observing a prohibition on wearing...
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Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Validity of NLRB Recess Appointments

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/17/2014
It turns out that schoolchildren aren’t the only ones who care about how long recess is.  On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, No. 12-1281, a case that is expected to decide how to allocate power between the President and Senate when it comes to recess appointments and could result in the invalidation of hundreds of NLRB decisions . For those unfamiliar with the case, by January 3,...
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