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Labor Relations / Unions

Ensure collective bargaining agreements spell out exact wage-and-hour terms

04/03/2014
Here’s a case that illustrates at least one advantage for em­­ployers to a union workplace. If your collective bargaining agreement spells out how pay is calculated and excludes time spent donning and doffing work clothes and safety equipment, a contrary state wage-and-hour law doesn’t apply.

Changing hours: Must we talk to the union first?

03/19/2014
Q. Our employees recently voted for a union and we are now negotiating. Our policies say full-time em­­ployee status starts at 30 hours per week. All of our full-time employees currently work 40 hours per week. We want to decrease the hours of some employees (about 25% of them) from eight to six per day. Do we have to bargain with the union on this change or can we just notify them? 

St. Paul teachers reach contract accord, avert strike

03/17/2014
Days before a scheduled strike vote in late February, St. Paul teachers reached a tentative deal on a new contract. Overall, teachers will receive an 8.6% increase in pay and benefits over two years.

Supreme Court rules on ‘donning & doffing’ in union shops

03/06/2014
The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous interpretation on Jan. 27 of the meaning of “changing clothes” in the FLSA is significant for unionized ­­employers in industries in which workers must change clothes to begin and end their work shifts.

NLRB orders Pittsburgh club to remit withheld dues

03/06/2014
The NLRB has ordered the Pitts­­burgh Athletic Association to forward union dues it collected from its employees to UNITE HERE Local 57, the union that represents club workers. The union’s NLRB complaint alleged that the club stopped remitting the dues in Novem­­ber 2012.

NLRB formally issues complaint against Walmart

02/19/2014
The National Labor Relations Board Office of General Counsel concluded in November that Wal­­mart violated the National Labor Rela­­tions Act when it threatened and disciplined workers for participating in wage protests and strikes in 14 states, including Minnesota.

NLRB releases ‘quickie union election’ rule

02/17/2014
To the chagrin of U.S. employers, new rules designed to speed up union elections have been finalized by the National Labor Relations Board …

Latest stats: Union membership continued to stagnate in 2013

02/13/2014

In 2013, the union membership rate was 11.3%, the same as in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported. That’s about 14.5 million workers. Union membership has been declining for decades.

Employee Handbooks: Overview

02/10/2014

HR Law 101: Employee handbooks are extremely valuable business tools. But if you’re not careful, your handbook could land you in court. In particular, employees are increasingly suing for wrongful discharge, pointing to a handbook they claim guaranteed them employment indefinitely …

High Court: CBA can address ‘donning, doffing’

02/07/2014
The U.S. Supreme Court handed employers a major victory on Jan. 27 when it ruled unanimously that workers need not be paid to change into and out of protective gear if a union contract has already specified that the time isn’t compensable.