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Union Bailout Update

In another effort to facilitate the ease of union organizing, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) returned to the Sturgis standard in the recently decided Miller & Anderson, Inc. case. This now allows contracted employees to be grouped with the employer’s owned employees for the purposes of an appropriate bargaining unit. Here is a piece of sound advice from the National Law Review:

employers utilizing temporary employees supplied by another should carefully review the agreement under which such temporary employees are supplied and, most importantly, the terms and conditions under which such temporary employees are employed, managed, and controlled.

As you already know from the email we sent you at the time, a Federal District Court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction against the Persuader Rule. If you missed our first post, you can read more details here.

New advice from the NLRB Associate General Counsel to

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Labor Relations INK February 2016

In this issue:

Propping Up A Dinosaur When In Trouble, Ask For A Raise! Union Pension Shipwreck West Virginia to Join Ranks of Right To Work States Teamster Beat, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

The bottom of each story contains a link to the individual post on our site.

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Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson 5 Steps to Prepare for the Persuader Rule

If you believe the rumors out of Washington (I do), the so-called persuader rule is on track to go from “proposed” to “final” by the end of next month. It could slip into April but at this point it looks like it is going to happen. After more than 5 years the rule will no longer be a hypothetical. Are you ready?

Most companies I talk to (not to mention most consultants and law firms) still treat this rule as a potential threat, versus a

Continue reading Labor Relations INK February 2016

Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

5 Steps to Prepare for the Persuader Rule

If you believe the rumors out of Washington (I do), the so-called persuader rule is on track to go from “proposed” to “final” by the end of next month. It could slip into April but at this point it looks like it is going to happen. After more than 5 years the rule will no longer be a hypothetical. Are you ready?

Most companies I talk to (not to mention most consultants and law firms) still treat this rule as a potential threat, versus a clear and present danger. That’s all about to change.

Here’s a quick recap for those who have had their head under a pillow hoping that this thing was just a bad dream.

The proposed rule vastly increases the number of activities that qualify as reportable “persuasion” activity to the Department of Labor (DOL).

Continue reading Labor Relations Insight

State AGs Stand Up Against Proposed Persuader Rule

13 State Attorney Generals signed and submitted a letter to Howard Shelanski, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, earlier this month. The letter details their objections to the proposed Persuader Rule.

The AGs state that the new rule would:

“undermine [the protections of the LMRDA] by requiring the reporting of advice related to persuasion of employees, regardless of whether the lawyers who provide the advice communicate with anyone other than their clients;” put lawyers “in an ethical dilemma: An attorney must either risk professional disciplinary action by disclosing employer confidences or risk liability under the LMRDA by refusing to disclose employer confidences;” “cause particular harm to small businesses” that can’t afford in-house counsel (the proposed requirement applies specifically to outside consultants); and finally “have a chilling effect on attorney-client confidentiality and employers’ fundamental right to counsel.

To read the letter in full and see the list of

Continue reading State AGs Stand Up Against Proposed Persuader Rule

Union Bailout Update

The NLRB has continued to move against mandatory arbitration provisions in employment contracts, and in fact, has been extraordinarily focused on the issue. In the last two months, the Board has decided twenty seven separate cases surrounding employment policies that prohibit workers from bringing collective legal actions. As board Chairman Mark Pearce clarified in the Solar City case, “The board made it clear an employer may lawfully maintain an arbitration agreement that requires arbitral proceedings to be conducted individually, but only so long as the employer leaves open a judicial forum for class and collective claims.”

The Board is at odds with the Fifth Circuit court, which ruled in Murphy Oil in October, 2016, that the Federal Arbitration Act trumps the NLRA. The Board viewed the Fifth Circuit’s decision as based on a misunderstanding of the right at stake, and appears to be working to push the issue

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

It’s back. After a several year hiatus, the Department of Labor (DOL) resurrected the so-called “persuader” rulemaking. This month they asked the Office of Management and Budget to approve the proposed rule that sat dormant for years. It looks like the rule will go into effect this spring.

Most people haven’t thought about this rule for several years, so here’s a quick reset: The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) passed in 1959. That law focused primarily on union corruption. It outlawed and required reporting of certain transactions between unions and companies. The purpose of these restrictions is to disclose, and hopefully eliminate, potentially corrupt transactions between employers and unions.

A less known part of the LMRDA deals with payments to so-called “persuader” consultants. The LMRDA also requires companies (and consultants) to report payments for services like communicating with workers about exercising their rights under the

Continue reading Labor Relations Insight