New General Counsel expected to set new probusiness agenda for NLRB

November 09, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A much more business-friendly atmosphere is expected at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) now that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Peter B. Robb as the Board’s General Counsel.

Robb, a management-side attorney with a Vermont law firm, won confirmation on a 49-46 party-line vote on November 8. He is President Donald Trump’s choice to replace Richard F. Griffin Jr., whose term as General Counsel expired on October 31. Griffin, nominated by President Barack Obama, began his tenure on November 4, 2013. Before Griffin, another Democratic nominee, Lafe Solomon, held the post.

With Robb on board as General Counsel, the five-member NLRB not only has a Republican majority of members, but it also has a Republican “quarterback,” says Kevin C. McCormick, chair of the labor and employment section of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, L.L.P., in Baltimore, Maryland, and editor of Maryland Employment Law Letter. As General Counsel, Robb will set the tone for the NLRB since the General Counsel is responsible for selecting cases the Board will hear.

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More probusiness NLRB on the way as Emanuel wins confirmation

September 25, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

As William Emanuel takes a seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), employers will see the panel going in a more probusiness and less union-friendly direction, Board watchers say, but it will take a while before cases come up to roll back recent decisions.

Emanuel, an attorney representing management in labor and employment matters, won confirmation by the Senate on September 25, giving the panel its first Republican majority in 10 years. Emanuel most recently practiced in the Los Angeles office of large management-side law firm Littler Mendelson.

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Miscimarra announcement called ‘great loss’ but ‘no reason to panic’

August 11, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

NLRB logoNational Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair Philip Miscimarra’s reported decision to leave the Board when his term expires on December 16 rather than allow himself to be considered for another term has probusiness Board watchers looking ahead and lamenting the loss of his contributions to NLRB decisions.

Kevin C. McCormick, an editor of Maryland Employment Law Letter and chair of the labor and employment section at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P. in Baltimore, said he was surprised by the news. He called Miscimarra’s coming departure a “great loss” but “no reason to panic.”

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New bill latest effort to tackle definition of joint employment

July 28, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

NLRB logoThe definition of “joint employment” may be heading for another turnaround. Legislation introduced in Congress on July 27 takes aim at a 2015 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that raised the ire of many in the business community, especially employers that work with franchisees, contractors, and staffing agencies.

The NLRB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision broadened the joint-employment standard so that a business that exercises only indirect control over another employer’s workers still can be considered a joint employer for purposes of collective bargaining. The new bill introduced in the House—dubbed the Save Local Business Act—seeks to clarify the joint-employment standard and provide relief to businesses that are in a relationship with another employer.

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Emanuel nomination called chance to ‘rein in’ Obama-era NLRB

June 29, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is another signal that a “reining in” of the panel is on the way, according to attorneys who keep a close watch on the Board.NLRB logo

On June 27, the White House announced that William J. Emanuel, an attorney with the large management-side law firm Littler Mendelson, will be nominated for the remainder of a term expiring on August 27, 2021.

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Kaplan nomination called way to ‘stop the bleeding’ at NLRB

June 22, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

NLRB logoPresident Donald Trump’s announcement that he will nominate Marvin Kaplan, currently chief counsel of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, to one of two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is being hailed by probusiness interests as a way to bring balance to the Board.

Kevin C. McCormick, an editor of Maryland Employment Law Letter and attorney with Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P. in Baltimore, called the nomination “a smart move” by the Trump administration because Kaplan has the “pedigree” needed for confirmation to and service on the Board.

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Supreme Court will consider class action waivers

January 20, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a trio of wage and hour cases involving arbitration agreements that require workers to waive their right to pursue employment claims as a group.

In recent years, the validity of such waivers has divided federal appeals courts and drawn the attention of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Board has held several times that even though federal law allows employers to adopt mandatory arbitration agreements, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) grants workers the nonwaivable right to pursue claims on a class or collective basis.

The NLRB first reached that conclusion in 2012, holding that an employer’s arbitration agreement violated the NLRA because it required employees to agree to dispute claims individually. The employer appealed to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the Board’s ruling. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB, 737 F.3d 344 (5th Cir., 2013).

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With Trump win, many employment initiatives in question

November 09, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

Recent employment initiatives undertaken by the Obama administration could be in jeopardy under Donald Trump’s presidency, but employers still need to comply with those laws and regulations for now, says one expert.

“In general, things are going to be pretty unpredictable,” said Connor Beatty, an associate with Brann & Isaacson  in Maine and editor of Maine Employment Law Letter. Not only has Trump never held public office, but he’s also changed his position on issues several times, Beatty said.

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Court’s decision solidifies NLRB’s ‘quickie’ election rule

June 13, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A June 10 ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to employers hoping to escape the constraints of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rule speeding up union representation elections.

The Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas and the National Federation of Independent Business filed the challenge to what many employers have dubbed the “quickie” or “ambush” election rule. The court’s opinion, authored by Judge Edith Brown Clement, states the Board “acted rationally and in furtherance of its congressional mandate in adopting the rule.”

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Time for federal contractors to get ready for new pay transparency rule

September 10, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Federal contractors need to be preparing now for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new pay transparency rule, a rule going into effect in January that is likely to present challenges to a number of employers, according to an attorney familiar with its provisions.

“This rule appears to me to be part of the overarching intention of the agency to provide for more defined and broader rights for workers,” Jo Ellen Whitney, an attorney with the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, said after publication of the rule was announced September 10. “Any time we add a section to the law that would broaden coverage or create a new category of discrimination or retaliation, we create employer issues. This is not because employers will violate the law, but because it is uncertain how it will be used to support any potential employee claim.”

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