Supreme Court tackles case posing threat to public-sector unions

September 29, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Employers—especially public-sector employers—are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a case going to the U.S. Supreme Court that may deal a blow to unions’ ability to collect dues.

On September 28, the Court announced that it will hear Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Counsel 31. The case, out of Illinois, challenges the union’s right to collect what’s known as “fair share” or “agency” fees from employees who don’t belong to the union and are covered under union-negotiated contracts.

With the addition of conservative Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to the Court earlier this year, many expect a union defeat.

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Right-to-work advocates dealt blow in Missouri

August 28, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Missouri’s new right-to-work law, which was supposed to take effect August 28, is on hold after opponents of the measure submitted petitions to put the law up for a voter referendum in November.

The state legislature passed the law, and Governor Eric Greitens signed it in February, but on August 18, unions and other opponents of the measure conducted a petition drive in an effort to put it on the November ballot.

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Missouri governor signs new right-to-work law

February 06, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Bob Kaiser, Daniel O’Toole, and Jeremy Brenner

As anticipated, the Missouri Legislature has once again passed a right-to-work law. However, unlike the two prior right-to-work measures passed by the legislature but vetoed by former Governor Jay Nixon, the version passed on February 2 was signed into law by newly elected Governor Eric Greitens on February 6. Missouri has now become the 28th right-to-work state.

Law’s key provisions

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Employers praise injunction blocking new ‘persuader’ rule

June 27, 2016 0 COMMENTS

An injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new “persuader” rule is drawing praise from employer interests concerned that the new rule would stifle their efforts to respond to union organizing campaigns.

The rule change was scheduled to take effect July 1, but a preliminary injunction issued June 27 prohibits enforcement pending final resolution of a lawsuit challenging the rule’s constitutionality. Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued the injunction after hearing arguments during a June 20 hearing. The scope of the injunction is nationwide.

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DOL’s new ‘persuader’ rule goes into effect July 1

June 13, 2016 1 COMMENTS

by Steven R. Semler

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new “persuader” rule is set to take effect on July 1. The rule will require employers and their attorneys and consultants to file with the DOL for public disclosure all agreements and payments to attorneys and consultants for providing advice, counter-organizational campaign training, and assistance on maintaining nonunion status.

Under the old rule, attorney and consultant assistance on maintaining nonunion status was exempt from reporting under the “legal advice” exception of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA).

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Compulsory public-sector union dues survive deadlocked Supreme Court

March 29, 2016 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 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

February 12, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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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West Virginia Legislature passes right-to-work bill; governor promises veto

February 08, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Rodney L. Bean

Both houses of West Virginia’s legislature have passed a bill that would make West Virginia the nation’s 26th right-to-work state. The bill arrived at Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s desk on Monday, February 8, and now awaits his signature or veto.  Flag of West Virginia, USA.

After a February 4 debate that lasted almost five hours, the House of Delegates voted 54-46 in favor of the bill, which bears the title “West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act.” The Senate had passed the measure by a 17-16 vote on January 21. Leaders of the Republican legislative majority have identified the bill as a priority for this session and introduced it on the opening day of the term.

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NLRB dismisses petition to unionize Northwestern football players

August 17, 2015 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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