LABOR RELATIONS / UNIONS

Union-Organizing Efforts

01/20/2015

HR Law 101: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) applies strict rules of conduct to employers during union-organizing campaigns. But whether you choose to accept the union or resist it, you can still exercise your rights effectively. Or, if a union has already won a representation election in your organization, you need to know how to prevent the union from encroaching on your management rights ... 

Won a lawsuit? Courts still reluctant to make losing worker pay your legal fees

01/19/2015

It can be frustrating to have to defend your organization against what you consider frivolous legal claims by employees. Unfortunately, that’s just another cost of doing business. As the following case shows, even when you win the case and thought it should never have been filed, you probably won’t persuade a court to penalize the employee by having him pay your legal fees.

New NLRB ruling shows risk of prohibiting 'loud, disrespectful' speech

01/16/2015
During an all-staff meeting at an Amazon.com warehouse in Arizona, an employee loudly voiced concerns about an on-site safety issue. After the meeting, he was called in the HR office and told he spoke too loudly and disrespectfully, both of which violated company policy. The employee countered by saying he had to speak loudly to be heard—and he objected to Amazon’s heavy-handed response.

Technological change drives three new NLRB decisions

01/14/2015
The National Labor Relations Board has issued three far-reaching decisions that change long-standing practices under the National Labor Relations Act. All reflect a disquieting connection between modern communications and old-fashioned labor relations.

Amazon, NLRB reach accord on 'disrespectful, loud' speech

01/14/2015
Online retail giant Amazon and the NLRB have resolved an unfair labor practices claim with an agreement that could lead to unionization of many of the company’s warehouses. The move was prompted by a heavy-handed response to an employee complaint during an employee meeting.

Austin bus company to pay $655K to settle labor dispute

01/05/2015
Travis Transit Management of Austin has agreed to pay 600 current and former employees $655,000 to settle charges it unilaterally changed employee health, retirement and other benefits when it began providing bus service for Austin’s Capital Metro in 2012.

Courts reluctant to make losing employees pay for employers' legal fees

01/05/2015

It can be frustrating to have to defend your organization against what you consider frivolous claims. Unfortunately, that’s just another cost of doing business. As the following case shows, even when you win the case and thought it should never have been filed, you probably won’t persuade a court to penalize the employee by having him pay your legal fees.

NLRB pushes ahead on joint employer cases

12/23/2014

A Dec. 19 statement from the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel said it found merit in 78 unfair labor practices charges filed against various McDonald’s franchise holders and McDonald’s USA. That means McDonald’s USA could be found liable for any illegal employment practices committed by its franchisees.

NLRB clears way for 'ambush' union elections

12/16/2014
The National Labor Relations Board says a new final rule issued Dec. 12 will “streamline” union elections. Critics say the result will be “ambush elections” where voting happens so fast that employers stand little chance of persuading employees to reject union representation.

Obama order requires contractors to disclose past labor violations

08/05/2014

President Obama has signed an executive order that will force companies seeking to do business with Uncle Sam to reveal whether they have violated any labor laws within the last three years. The order comes on the heels of other administration actions designed to compel federal contractors to adopt more worker-friendly policies.

NLRB shakes up joint-employer landscape

08/04/2014

The National Labor Relations Board’s lead attorney has determined that franchisors and franchisees—in this case, of the McDonald’s fast-food chain—can be named joint employers when workers file unfair labor practices charges. The decision could reverberate far beyond franchise businesses, aiding organized labor’s efforts to unionize low-wage workers and raise their pay.

Trucking firm pays $262,000 to settle labor charges

07/23/2014
Yuba City, Ca.-based Dispatch Trans­por­­tation has settled an unfair labor practice charge with the Teamsters Local 137 and the NLRB.

Single act of disobedience doesn't always rule out unemployment compensation

07/23/2014
The California Supreme Court has decided that a single act of employee disobedience may not always constitute misconduct within the meaning of section 1256 of Cali­­for­­nia’s Unemployment Insur­­ance Code.

Teachers win right to union vote at charter school

07/02/2014
The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PCCS) has lost in its bid to stop a union election among its teachers. The Pennsylvania Cyber School Education Association, an arm of the Pennsylvania School Edu­­ca­­tion Association and the National Edu­­ca­­tion Association, sought an election to represent the teachers working for the PCCS.

In Allentown, who says one vote doesn't matter?

07/02/2014
A union election at an Allentown company that provides home health care services may have turned on the vote of one person, who arrived too late to cast a ballot.
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