The NLRB Could Learn From the Seventh Circuit

Frank Kollman
Frank Kollman
07/29/2013
When my son was in high school, he was a star baseball player.  His senior year, one game away from the state championship, his team was disqualified over a technical rule violation that rational school officials would’ve overlooked.  When the disqualification was reported to the team by the principal, one of the students used a word that rhymes with duck.  No disciplinary action was taken. The National Labor Relations Board, whose goal seems...
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Thomas Perez Confirmed As Labor Secretary; New NLRB Nominees Named

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/23/2013
On July 18, 2013, the Senate confirmed Thomas Perez as labor secretary with a party-line vote of 54-46.  Perez is currently the head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and will replace Hilda Solis, who resigned from the top labor post in January 2013.  Following his nomination in March, Republicans aggressively criticized Perez, citing to his alleged involvement in a quid pro quo arrangement between the DOJ and the City of St. Paul...
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“Election of Remedies” Clause Constitutes Per Se Retaliation, Getting Employer and Union in Trouble

Employers sometimes have policies that, while they seem sensible, run afoul of the law.  One such area is in the investigation of discrimination claims.  Some employers have a policy that says something like “we will investigate a concern that you bring to our attention, but we will stop doing that if you go file with the EEOC.  Then we will let the EEOC investigate.  The reasoning behind the policy is that it will avoid a duplication of...
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Supreme Court To Review Constitutionality Of Recess Appointments To The NLRB

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
07/05/2013
As the recent Supreme Court term came to an end, employers were greeted with a couple of favorable decisions.  On June 24th, the Court held that a “but-for” standard applies in Title VII retaliation cases and that to be a “supervisor” under Title VII, an employee must have the power to implement tangible employment actions. That same day, the Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit’s opinion in Noel Canning Div. of Noel Corp. v....
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Fourth Circuit Tosses NLRB’s “Worker Rights” Posting Requirement

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
06/18/2013
The Fourth Circuit has agreed with the D.C. Circuit that the National Labor Relations Board exceeded its authority by promulgating a 2011 regulation that required employers to post a notice on worker rights in its recent decision in Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 12034 (4th Cir. June 14, 2013).  This decision affirmed the district court's opinion that the National Labor Relations Act does not authorize or empower the Board to...
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NLRB Judge Strikes Down Confidentiality Policy

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/12/2013
Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of NLRB rulings and guidance limiting the rights of employers to regulate non-union employees. While social media rulings have drawn most of the attention, the Board has also tried to limit employers’ rights to issue work rules, maintain the confidentiality of workplace investigations, and  make employees aware of the at-will nature of their employment relationship.  On June 4, 2013, an NLRB Administrative...
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NLRB Notice Rule Struck Down

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
05/09/2013
On May, 7, 2013,  the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held  that the National Labor Relations Board lacked the authority to issue a  2011 rule which would have required all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) to  post a workplace notice to employees.  The decision, National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB, drove yet another stake in the heart of the Obama NLRB’s activist agenda. As...
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Unions, Gangs and Prison Scandals

Over the past two weeks, we have heard a lot about the scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where guards allegedly conspired with members of a notorious prison gang to traffic drugs, cell phones, and sexual favors. In case you missed this, the leader of the gang (the  Black Guerilla Family) fathered five children with four female prison guards and was heard telling an acquaintance in a wiretapped call “This is my jail …. I make every...
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International USW Ousts Local 9477’s Officials and Seizes Assets

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
02/19/2013
In a decidedly un-brotherly move, the President of the United Steelworkers International has placed Local 9477, the local union hall representing the steelworkers in Sparrows Point and the surrounding businesses, under an “administratorship,” Baltimore Brew reported yesterday.  According to the report, Local 9477’s officers have resigned or been suspended and last Thursday, Joe Rosel, Jr., president of Local 9477 was escorted from the premises...
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Employers Reminded to Avoid Unilateral Changes and Surveillance of Union Activity

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
02/15/2013
The Fourth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, recently enforced a National Labor Relations Board decision, which concluded that a Maryland employer committed numerous unfair labor practices when it engaged in surveillance of union activities, unilaterally modified the terms and conditions of employment, and unlawfully terminated an employee.  The case, Pessoa Construction Company v. NLRB, Nos. 11-1688, 11-1776 (4th Cir. Jan. 25, 2013)...
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