14

Feb

2017

US High Court Postpones Class Action Waiver Case Until Next Term

Author: Michael Burns

The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) announced last week that they would not hear the case asking its position on whether the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) restricts employers from requiring workers to waive their right to pursue a class action lawsuit and go to arbitration individually instead. 

17

Jan

2017

US Supreme Court Agrees to Settle the Use of Class Action Arbitration Waivers

Author: Michael Burns

In what could be the judicial heavyweight match of the year (in at least the employment law realm), last Friday the Supreme Court agreed to examine three petitions to determine whether employers can require employees to arbitrate a dispute individually rather than through a class or collective proceeding.

13

Dec

2016

With the New Administration, What HR Rules are on the Chopping Block?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

With the election of Donald Trump and the control of both houses of congress by the Republicans, the question has been asked many times – what Obama Administration rules will be on the chopping block?  There have been many new rules initiated, including FLSA Overtime, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, OSHA and more.   

15

Nov

2016

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for Employers?

Author: Michael Burns

As Gomer Pyle used to say (10 points if you remember that 60’s TV character) - Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!!! With businessman Donald Trump’s election as our 45th President right behind President Obama (Democrat and liberal), employers can anticipate some challenges and changes to the long list of laws, regulations and executive orders the Obama administration has implemented. Unlike President Obama, Donald Trump has both Houses of Congress on his side.  Having Congress...

8

Nov

2016

US Chamber Report Sees Growth in Micro Unions Since Specialty Healthcare Decision

Author: Michael Burns

One of the many controversial pro-labor decisions in the past few years was one called Specialty Healthcare. This National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision changed a long-standing rule about determining the composition of collective bargaining units for union certification purposes. Before Specialty Healthcare an “appropriate” bargaining unit was one that represented “all workers in a class or craft.”  That has changed. 

18

Oct

2016

DC Circuit Slaps Down NLRB’s Total Disregard for Law

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In a case that applies to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), but appears to be a mantra to all of the Obama administration agencies, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a scathing rebuke to the NLRB for “abusive tactics and extremism.”  They ordered the Board to pay an employer nearly $18,000 in legal fees incurred due to the Board’s “bad faith litigation.”

18

Oct

2016

Union Hit for $5 Million in Damages for Aggressive Organizing Tactics

Author: Michael Burns

Despite all the regulatory protections provided by pro-labor Washington administration and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU) still managed to take things too far. The SEIU is known for its aggressive tactics and has practiced a scorched earth strategy against targeted employers for over a decade with its “Justice for Janitors” campaign.

4

Oct

2016

Obama Labor Regulatory Cost Imposition Calculation

Author: Michael Burns

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a national trade association that represents primarily manufacturers but other employers as well, has calculated the cost of new regulatory  compliance under all the regulation changes implemented over the past almost eight years of the Obama Administration.  In the NAM’s May 2016 report “Red Tape Rising 2016: Obama Regs Top $100 Billion Annually” it estimates that since 2009 new major regulation implementation has...

20

Sep

2016

Local Union Disputes Cross International Boundaries

Author: Anthony Kaylin

With so many conflicting laws, whether in the U.S. or between various countries, unions are going global to win labor disputes in the U.S.  For example, IG Metall, the German union representing workers at Mercedes and Volkswagen, was heavily involved in applying pressure to assist the UAW in attempting to organize Mercedes in Alabama and Volkswagen (VW) in Tennessee.  The UAW lost in Alabama, but is trying again.  Are international boundaries being blurred when it comes to...

13

Sep

2016

Worker’s Choice Bill Introduced in Michigan

Author: Michael Burns

From an employment and labor legislative and regulatory standpoint in Michigan, it has been a very quiet year. In 2015 a flurry of Democratically backed pro-worker legislation was introduced only to be placed in “Committee” and for the most part, forgotten. This week, however, a bill was introduced by Republican Gary Glen of Midland to change Michigan public labor law to allow employees and unions to split entirely from one another. Under the current Right to Work law, employees...

6

Sep

2016

Are Unions Really That Bad?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Given that Labor Day was this past Monday, it is a time of introspection.  The war on unions has had, according to at least one study, a significant impact on the U.S. economy and worker wages.  Has it been good or bad?

30

Aug

2016

Employee Arbitration Agreements - Forget It!

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Seventh Circuit Appeals Court in supporting the NLRB D.R. Horton decision, which further attacks employers’ arbitration agreements that contain class action waivers. Under “unambiguous language” of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) "it is unlawful to require employees to sign agreements precluding them from bringing, in any forum, concerted legal claims regarding wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of...

9

Aug

2016

Did Subway Put Other Businesses at Risk?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The restaurant industry is notoriously known for wage and hour violations.  In 2015 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found more than $38 million in back wages for nearly 47,000 restaurant workers—almost exclusively due to minimum wage and overtime violations.  And now last week, Wage and Hour announced that it has partnered with Subway to help ensure the sandwich maker's franchises comply with wage-and-hour laws.  Read on to find out how this...

2

Aug

2016

The Alice in Wonderland NLRB Queen Continues to Chop the Heads off Handbook Policies

Author: Michael Burns

As we have covered for several years now, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to find potentially unfair labor practices in long standing, innocuous employee handbook policies. The NLRB has challenged the following employer policies over the last four years or so:

19

Jul

2016

MI Supreme Court Upholds GM Workers’ Compensation Coordination Agreement

Author: Michael Burns

In the 1980’s Michigan Workers’ Compensation law was changed allowing employers to coordinate Workers’ Compensation benefits with Social Security pension disability benefits, thus potentially lowering employers’ Workers’ Compensation costs. At the time General Motors (GM) and the UAW agreed that they would not seek coordination of benefits thereby allowing GM workers to collect both benefits at full amounts. But after the 2009 recession and the US government...
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