More low-wage worker strikes are set for August 29

August 27, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

Fast-food and other low-wage workers who have staged strikes in a handful of cities around the country in recent months are planning to take their efforts nationwide on August 29.

Strikers and their supporters are calling for $15 an hour as well as more protections for workers interested in unionizing. The latest wave of strikes occurred during the week of July 29 in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Flint, Michigan.

The strikes coincide with an effort, championed by President Barack Obama, to raise the minimum wage. In February, Obama asked Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour in stages by the end of 2015 and to index it to inflation thereafter.

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Potential deal in works to fill NLRB seats

July 17, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

With the clock ticking on the term of the only confirmed member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), reports are circulating that President Barack Obama will send two new nominees to the Senate and abandon his two previous appointees, who face opposition because of their disputed recess appointment status.

On July 16, news organizations reported that Obama plans to nominate Nancy Schiffer, former associate general counsel of the AFL-CIO, and Kent Hirozawa, chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, the only current member who has been confirmed by the Senate. Pearce’s term expires on August 27, but he has been nominated for a new term.

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Another NLRB recess appointment ruled invalid

May 20, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Nearly four months after an appeals court ruled that recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made in 2012 were invalid, another appellate court has ruled a previous recess appointment unconstitutional.

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled May 16 in NLRB v. New Vista Nursing & Rehab. that President Barack Obama’s 2010 recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB was invalid. Becker, a Democrat, served on the Board from April 5, 2010, through January 3, 2012.

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Fast-food worker strikes, ‘alt-labor’ movement spreading

May 16, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A wave of strikes by fast-food and other low-wage workers continues to spread in major cities around the country as employees take action to increase their pay and gain other workplace rights and benefits. Strikes have taken place in New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Milwaukee as the movement appears to be gaining strength.

The workers are not unionized and work in jobs traditionally not targeted by labor unions because the fast-food industry often relies on teen workers holding part-time and seasonal jobs. Since the recession, however, more adults with families have turned to jobs in the fast-food industry.

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Business groups applaud ruling against NLRB poster

May 08, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Probusiness groups are cheering a new ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that represents another blow to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The appeals court, which issued another ruling against the NLRB in January, ruled on May 7 that the Board exceeded its authority in its effort to require employers to post a notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

The NLRB issued the rule in 2011, but it was never implemented because of court challenges. Had it gone into effect, all employers under NLRB jurisdiction—including nonunion employers—would have been required to post an 11-by-17-inch poster explaining that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions; to form, join, and assist a union; to bargain collectively with their employer; and to refrain from any of those activities.

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Obama urges swift confirmation of new NLRB nominees

April 09, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), crippled by a January court ruling against two recess appointees, has the potential to get back to full strength if the Senate confirms nominations President Barack Obama made April 9. Previous attempts to fill the NLRB have failed over congressional opposition to Board actions and Obama’s nominees.

On April 9, Obama nominated Republicans Harry I. Johnson, III, and Philip A. Miscimarra along with Democrat Mark Gaston Pearce. Pearce is the current NLRB chair. His term is set to expire August 27. Johnson and Miscimarra are both management-side employment attorneys.

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NLRB wants Supreme Court review of recess appointments decision

March 14, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced on March 12 it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision that says the appointment of two Board members is invalid.

In consultation with the Justice Department, the NLRB said it intends to file a petition by the April 25 deadline for Supreme Court review.

On January 25, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Noel Canning v. NLRB that President Barack Obama acted unconstitutionally when he made three recess appointments to the Board on January 4, 2012.

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Don’t forget Form LM-10 reporting deadline

by Kevin J. Skelly

Every year, employers must publicly report specific transactions or arrangements relating to unionization or the threat of unionization. The report must be made within 90 days after the end of the employer’s fiscal year. For employers whose fiscal years coincide with the calendar year, the reporting deadline will be at the end of March.

The report is made on Form LM-10, which is issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Nongovernmental employers must file the form annually to disclose financial dealings with union officials and representatives.

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Court ruling puts NLRB future in jeopardy

January 25, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A court ruling has put the brakes on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and possibly invalidated decisions the Board has made for the last year.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on January 25 that President Barack Obama acted unconstitutionally when he made three recess appointments to the NLRB on January 4, 2012.

The court’s ruling is seen as good news for employers because it seems to thwart what many in the business community see as the NLRB trying to rewrite labor law to benefit unions.

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NLRB ruling ends proemployer automatic exemption

December 31, 2012 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A recent ruling from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) means employers are no longer automatically exempted when unions ask them to turn over witness statements related to employee discipline.

Now, the employer’s confidentiality interest must be balanced with the union’s need for information. The American Baptist Homes of the West d/b/a Piedmont Gardens case overruled the Board’s 1978 decision in Anheuser-Busch, Inc., which established a categorical exemption for witness statements in such cases.

In the Piedmont case, the NLRB’s acting general counsel and the charging party argued that the bright-line rule established in 1978 was “inappropriate.” The Board agreed, finding it should instead apply a balancing test articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Detroit Edison Co. v. NLRB, which was decided in 1979.

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