All Items: Labor Relations

  • Illinois Executive Order Limits Public Sector Unions

    13 February 2015

    Newly-elected Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has issued an executive order to bar unions from requiring all state workers to pay the equivalent of union dues. This order affects an estimated 6,500 state employees who are not union members.

  • Supreme Court Sides With Employer in ERISA Dispute

    27 January 2015

    The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a group of retired employees are not necessarily entitled to permanent, contribution-free health care benefits. Writing for the Court, Justice Clarence Thomas said, "Employers or other plan sponsors are generally free under ERISA at any time to adopt, modify or terminate welfare plans."

  • NLRB Adopts New Union Election Rules

    18 December 2014

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has adopted a final rule that amends its union representation election procedures by shortening the timeframe in which an election is held. The rule will go into effect on April 14, 2015.

  • NLRB General Counsel Pursues Complaint Against McDonald's as 'Joint Employer'

    01 August 2014

    In a startling move, the National Labor Board Office of the General Counsel (OGC) has announced that it authorized complaints on 43 unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against McDonald's franchisees and determined that McDonald's, USA, LLC, the franchisor, will be named as a "joint employer." The OGC's intention to proceed with ULP charges against a parent franchisor to hold it responsible for the employment practices of its franchisees conflicts with a decades-old legal standard and may have far-reaching implications for the current franchise model.

  • Supreme Court Deals Limited Blow to Public Unions

    02 July 2014

    The Supreme Court in Harris v. Quinn struck down an Illinois law compelling home care personal assistants (PAs) working under the Illinois Rehabilitation Program to pay union dues despite being non-members but stopped short of stripping a state's ability to require non-union public sector workers to pay union dues. In a 5-4 decision, the Court narrowly ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the collection of "fair share" or agency fees from the PAs because they are "partial public employees" rather than "full-fledged public employees."

  • Noel Canning: Supreme Court Invalidates President's NLRB Recess Appointments

    27 June 2014

    The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Noel Canning v. NLRB that President Obama's three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2012 are invalid and unconstitutional. This decision is critical for employers because, by concluding that the President lacked the power to make the three recess appointments to the NLRB, the NLRB lacked the legal authority to issue over 800 (including several controversial) decisions that affect both union and non-union workplaces.

  • NLRB, OSHA Enter into Whistleblower Complaint Referral Program

    29 May 2014

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entered into a referral program in which OSHA agreed to refer time-barred whistleblower complaints regarding workplace safety to the NLRB for further investigation. The NLRB is likely to see a surge of safety-related ULPs as a result of this alliance with OSHA.

  • NLRB Invites Briefs on Whether Employers May Prohibit Employee Use of Work Email for NLRA-Protected Activity

    02 May 2014

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced yesterday that it is inviting briefs on whether it should adopt a rule providing that "employees who are permitted to use their employer's email for work purposes have the right to use it for Section 7 activity, subject only to the need to maintain production and discipline."

  • 5th Circuit Affirms NLRB Determination Striking Down Confidentiality Policy

    11 April 2014

    The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) determination that an employer's confidentiality policy prohibiting employees from disclosing all company financial and personnel information was overly broad and in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

  • NLRB Finds Northwestern Football Players 'Employees,' Permitted to Unionize

    28 March 2014

    In a decision that may have widespread implications for college sports, a Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has determined that Northwestern University football players receiving scholarships are "employees" under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). As a result, the Regional Director directed an election to be conducted so that "all football players who receive football grant-in-aid scholarship and not having exhausted their playing eligibility" at Northwestern can vote whether they want to be represented by a union.

About this category

News: HR and legal considerations for employers regarding the management of labor relations. Support and guidance on the ever growing field of labor law.