Kentucky is now the nation's 27th right-to-work state, making it illegal for workers to be required to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment. Governor Matt Bevin signed the legislation on January 9, which took effect immediately.
A federal district court has issued an injunction to permanently prevent the US Department of Labor from implementing a new "persuader activity" rule that would have expanded employers' obligation to report activities they take to persuade employees concerning their rights to organize and collectively bargain.
The 9th Circuit's ruling in Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, deepens a split between the circuits, increasing the odds that the Supreme Court eventually will resolve the question of whether arbitration agreements may include class action waivers.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants are statutory employees under labor law and, therefore, are entitled to unionize and collectively bargain for better working conditions.
In Miller & Anderson, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employer consent is not required for bargaining units that combine contingent and regular employees so long as the employees share a community of interest.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, in Lewis v. Epic-Systems Corp., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9638 (7th Cir. 2016), that a health care software company's arbitration agreement violates the right of employees to engage in protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by barring them from participating in or pursuing wage-and-hour class action or collective claims. Because the ruling deepens a split among the circuits on this issue, it could lead to an eventual review by the Supreme Court to resolve the inconsistency.
The nation's public employee unions have "won" a 4-4 tie at the Supreme Court in a case that could have left their future in doubt. The result means that unions may continue to collect dues from employees they represent, so long as the dues are being used for collective bargaining, contract administration or grievance adjustment purposes.
On March 24, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published a controversial and long-awaited final rule under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) that expands an employer's obligation to report persuader activity - activity engaged in to directly or indirectly persuade employees concerning their rights to organize and collectively bargain.
President Obama has nominated DC Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death. Garland is perhaps best known for overseeing the domestic terrorism prosecutions of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Theodore Kazcynski, infamously known as the Unabomber. Garland has compiled an extensive record during his 19 years on the DC Circuit, including in employment law.
Justice Antonin Scalia's death last weekend in the midst of the presidential race has put the Supreme Court at the center of a political firestorm. And with his seat likely to remain vacant for the remainder of the term, it figures to have a significant impact on pending labor and employment cases at the nation's highest court.
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