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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Maryland Commission on Civil Rights Issues Poster for New Pregnancy Discrimination Law

As we have previously reported, on October 1, 2013, the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act took effect for Maryland employers who have 15 or more employees. The new law requires that, unless an employer can show undue hardship, it must provide pregnant employees with various categories of accommodations upon request, including: changing the employee’s job duties; changing the employee’s work hours; relocating the...
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Appellate Court Reverses NLRB and Upholds Legality of Class Action Waivers

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
12/04/2013
Employers scored a big victory yesterday when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the National Labor Relations Board's D.R Horton ruling, which invalidated an employer's arbitration agreement containing a waiver of an employee's right to file class-action claims. D.R. Horton v. NLRB, 5th Cir No. 12-60031 (12/3/13).  The decision will make it  easier for employers to enforce class-action waivers, including waivers of...
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Senate Confirms Former Union Lawyer as New NLRB General Counsel

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
11/01/2013
On October 29th, the Senate confirmed Richard F. Griffin Jr. as the NLRB’s new General Counsel.  He replaces Lafe E. Solomon, who filed the much publicized case against Boeing.  Mr. Griffin, a longtime lawyer for the International Union of Operating Engineers, previously served on the NLRB but was replaced amid controversy and litigation over whether President Obama’s recess appointments (of which he was one) were unconstitutional. Mr....
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EEOC Gets Slammed Again in Background Check Case

Over the past two years, the EEOC has placed a great deal of emphasis upon challenging employer policies that bar applicants based upon criminal history. In August, the Commission suffered a major setback on this front when a federal court in Maryland dismissed a lawsuit brought by the EEOC because the statistical analysis it relied upon was severely flawed. On October 7, 2013, the EEOC suffered another setback when the United States Court of Appeals...
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The Impact of the Government Shutdown on Employment Law: Part II

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
10/05/2013
As I write this, its 11:00 a.m on a  Saturday  and a number of my colleagues are hard at work with me in the office.  Some of the world is still working, without or without an appropriations bill being passed. As for the feds, here is a brief follow up on the impact of the shutdown as it pertains to employment-related matters: The Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) has determined that it will be “unable to...
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How the Government Shutdown Impacts Employment Matters

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
10/02/2013
As those who recall last federal government shutdown in 1995 can attest, the closing of the federal government has implications for human resources professionals.  Government agencies that make and enforce laws governing the workplace have posted information about their operations (or lack thereof) during the shutdown. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission release states that the agency WILL continue to: 1) docket new charges and federal...
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