American Society of Employers - Michael Burns
NLRB Board Overrules its Administrative Judges to Hold in Favor of Over-riding Dress Rules for Worker BLM-Wear

27 February 2024

NLRB Board Overrules its Administrative Judges to Hold in Favor of Over-riding Dress Rules for Worker BLM-Wear

Author: Michael Burns

Should workers violating a company dress code policy be protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if they are wearing or displaying political slogans on their uniforms protesting for an issue unrelated to their work?

NLRB Holds That Union Engaged in Union Busting Against Its Own Workers

20 February 2024

NLRB Holds That Union Engaged in Union Busting Against Its Own Workers

Author: Michael Burns

In the category of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander we have the pro-union National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently finding the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union engaged in a myriad of unfair labor practices with its own unionized staff who are members of FAIR. (Yes, unions have unions.)

NLRB’s Cemex Pro-union Standard Challenged in Court

13 February 2024

NLRB’s Cemex Pro-union Standard Challenged in Court

Author: Michael Burns

Cemex Construction is challenging the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “radical change” which would allow the NLRB to bypass an organizing election and order bargaining if it finds the employer engaged in an unfair labor practice during the campaign. It also extended the rules for requiring union election if the union demands recognition. Before this decision, an employer was not required to recognize a union and the union was the one that had to demand an election....
Super Bowl Squares and March Madness Brackets – What Employers Need to Know

6 February 2024

Super Bowl Squares and March Madness Brackets – What Employers Need to Know

Author: Michael Burns

This Sunday is the Super Bowl, and while it will not be as great without the Lions there, there is a good chance your employees are betting on it. The American Gaming Association estimated that upwards of 28 million Americans participated in office pools for the 2023 Super Bowl. This was up 50% from 2022 and it is expected even more employees will be in office pools this year. How should employers feel about that?

BLS Reports 2023 Union Membership Down… Again

30 January 2024

BLS Reports 2023 Union Membership Down… Again

Author: Michael Burns

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported union membership continued to decline in 2023. The BLS reported that private sector union membership increased by 191,000 members during the year. Union representation was 11.2% of workers in 2023 down from 11.3% in 2022.

The Election Year is Upon Us - Be Prepared for Workplace Political Discussions…or Worse

23 January 2024

The Election Year is Upon Us - Be Prepared for Workplace Political Discussions…or Worse

Author: Michael Burns

While it seems like elections and politics have been on-going rather than every two or four years, we are now entering the actual election year, and employers should prepare themselves to address possible employee dissent, rancor, or worse.

NLRB Judge Holds in Favor of Employer’s Dress Policy

16 January 2024

NLRB Judge Holds in Favor of Employer’s Dress Policy

Author: Michael Burns

In a little bit of a surprise from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an NLRB judge upheld a Whole Foods’ ban on Black Lives Matter (BLM) wear/gear in its workplace. Some may remember that in 2020 Whole Foods was challenged by civil and labor rights activists for prohibiting the wearing of BLM insignia on its uniforms while at work. Whole Foods had a policy that banned “any visible slogan, message, logo or advertising” on its uniforms.

Independent Contractor Final Rules Released

9 January 2024

Independent Contractor Final Rules Released

Author: Michael Burns

Tuesday, January 9, 2024, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its Final Rule outlining whether an independent contractor can really be classified under federal law as such.  This presents employers (the buyers of IC services) that use independent contractors with a new and potentially costly concern. The DOL’s rule changes how an employer is allowed to classify those workers it engages as contractors rather than employees. The rule  will impact contractors engaged by a...
Non-union Employers Should Be Preparing for 2024

2 January 2024

Non-union Employers Should Be Preparing for 2024

Author: Michael Burns

As we closed out 2023, unions continued to win recognition elections at a rate of almost 75%. In 2023 this percentage is from 1,316 certification elections run nationally. This included an overall win rate in September, 2023 of 91%. This win rate was for recognition certification elections – also called RC elections.

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds for Employer in “Reverse” Sex Discrimination Case

19 December 2023

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds for Employer in “Reverse” Sex Discrimination Case

Author: Michael Burns

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled on a sex discrimination case where the Plaintiff argued she was denied a promotion twice and then the employer moved to demote her because she was heterosexual. The case involved the “unusual employer who discriminates against the majority.” This type of discrimination is sometimes erroneously referred to as reverse discrimination.

Michigan High Court Examines “Adopt and Amend” Action That Changed Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Laws

12 December 2023

Michigan High Court Examines “Adopt and Amend” Action That Changed Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Laws

Author: Michael Burns

Michigan’s current minimum wage and medical leave laws may be overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court. Michigan’s current laws on its minimum wage and medical leave were passed by a GOP controlled legislature and governor back in 2019 by a unique legislative action called adopt and amend. That legislature and the governor saw two ballot initiatives introduced in 2018 for a public vote that would be (and could be again) unfavorable to the Michigan business community – in...
What is a “Long Term Part-Time” (LTPT) Employee and Why Should You Care?

5 December 2023

What is a “Long Term Part-Time” (LTPT) Employee and Why Should You Care?

Author: Michael Burns

While we were all enjoying the Friday after Thanksgiving the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued a set of rules that could benefit a small (probably) number of employees by making them eligible to participate in an employer’s 401K defined contribution plan.

UAW President Vows Increased Organizing Push on Non-union Auto and Supplier Companies

28 November 2023

UAW President Vows Increased Organizing Push on Non-union Auto and Supplier Companies

Author: Michael Burns

Shaun Fain, UAW President, is not only taking a victory lap around the recent contract settlements with the Detroit Three, but he has also repeatedly vowed to organize the other non-union auto manufacturers and their suppliers so that in 2028 he will be bargaining against the Big Five or Six.

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Knocks One of the Biden NLRB’s First Pro- Labor Rule Changes

21 November 2023

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Knocks One of the Biden NLRB’s First Pro- Labor Rule Changes

Author: Michael Burns

What the National Labor Relations Board seeks to give unions, the Courts taketh away. Since the beginning of the Biden era, the NLRB has issued ruling after ruling challenging employers’ policies as anti-union. Many policies that have been acceptable for years are now being cast as anti-union and in turn, an unfair labor practice.

Employers Can Address Employee Speech Made Outside of Work

14 November 2023

Employers Can Address Employee Speech Made Outside of Work

Author: Michael Burns

ASE has advised on this in the past but with the current state of social media use and the growing rancor and divisiveness in society we remind employers again: employers do have rights when it comes to its employees’ off-work verbal and social media communications.

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