Overtime rule update: District court won’t wait for appeals court’s ruling

January 04, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

On January 3, a federal district court judge said he won’t halt proceedings in the case challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rules despite concurrent litigation in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The rules, which were scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016, would have required employers to pay overtime to employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually).

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Texas AFL-CIO seeks to join fight to save overtime rules

December 21, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A group of labor organizations is attempting to save the new overtime rules from almost certain death under the Trump administration.

The Texas AFL-CIO on December 9 moved to join a lawsuit challenging the rules, saying that if the president-elect drops the government’s defense of the regulation as predicted, the union group will see it through.

Background

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States approve minimum wage, paid leave ballot questions

November 10, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

States with employment-related ballot questions mostly approved them during the November 8 election, and employers have little lead time before many measures will be implemented.

All told, 14 states have new provisions with which companies must comply, some as early as January 1, 2017.

Minimum wage

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Voters reject changes to South Dakota’s right-to-work law

by Jennifer Suich Frank

On November 8, South Dakota voters rejected Initiated Measure (IM) 23, which would have allowed unions to charge nonmembers reduced “fair share” dues for services like collective bargaining. An overwhelming 79 percent of South Dakotans voted against the measure.

A right-to-work law means employees have the right to work without being required to join a union. Right-to-work laws are aimed at preventing employers and labor unions from excluding nonunion employees or requiring all employees to pay a fee to a union regardless of whether they belong to the union. In essence, IM 23 would have allowed unions to charge nonmembers fees to cover expenses for work from which nonmember employees would purportedly benefit.

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Columbia University decision latest NLRB victory for unions

August 24, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Colombia university campus groundsThe National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) ruling that graduate student assistants at private colleges and universities are entitled to unionize is the latest Board action seen as a boon to union interests.

In a 3-1 decision issued on August 23, the Board ruled that graduate assistants at Columbia University are employees as well as students and may therefore be represented by a union. The ruling overturns the 2004 Brown University decision that determined that students working as teaching and research assistants should be considered students, not employees.

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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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Compulsory public-sector union dues survive deadlocked Supreme Court

March 29, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A 4-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a closely watched case on public-sector unions leaves previous legal precedent intact, effectively sealing a union victory.

On March 29, the evenly split Court issued a one-sentence ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association that allows the decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stand. If not for the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, the ruling may have gone the other way.

“With Justice Scalia’s death, public-sector unions dodged not just a bullet but a cannonball,” Jeffrey Sloan, an attorney with Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP in San Francisco, said after the ruling was announced.

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DOL’s new “persuader rule” limits employers’ ability to fight union organizing

March 23, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

A new rule scheduled to take effect April 25 is seen as placing new limits on employer efforts to fight union organizing drives. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will publish its new “persuader rule” in the March 24 Federal Register.

The DOL maintains that the new rule, which requires more disclosure of antiunion efforts, is necessary to ensure transparency during organizing campaigns, but employers worry that it will make it more difficult to communicate to workers their reasons for opposing unionization.

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West Virginia becomes 26th right-to-work state

by Rodney L. Bean

West Virginia became the nation’s 26th right-to-work state Friday when both houses of the West Virginia Legislature voted to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of right-to-work legislation. The new law will take effect May 4, 2016.

The legislation bans union security agreements—pacts between employers and labor unions that require employees to join a union and pay union dues in order to work for the employer. West Virginia employees will gain the right to refuse to join a union or pay union dues.

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NLRB dismisses petition to unionize Northwestern football players

August 17, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Just how the dismissal of the petition to unionize some Northwestern University football players will affect other representation issues before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is uncertain, but one issue the Board didn’t touch is whether scholarship football players should be considered employees.

The NLRB announced on August 17 that it had unanimously decided to dismiss the 2014 unionization petition because “asserting jurisdiction would not promote labor stability” because of the nature and structure of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

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