The National Labor Relations Board rejected another Obama-era “balancing test” in favor of moving back to a “bright line” rule. In United Nurses & Allied Professional (Kent Hospital),  the board ruled that lobbying costs of all kinds are not considered part of a union’s statutory collective-bargaining obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and, therefore, unions cannot compel support. According to the 1988 Beck Supreme Court decision, a union may compel nonmembers to contribute fees deemed necessary to “performing the duties of an exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with the employer on labor-management issues.” Unions can no longer make the case that lobbying can be consided as “necessary.”

The NLRB also found that a group of dispatchers working for an energy company are considered supervisors and cannot be unionized. Because the dispatchers use individual judgment to assign workers, the IBEW was prohibited from organizing them. The US appeals court had returned the case to the board for judgment.

The DOL Wage & Hour Division proposed a new rule adjusting the overtime exemption regulations for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees. The target moves from $23,660 to $35,308 (annualized). The 60-day comment period is now open. Go here to submit comments.

Jennifer Abruzzo

Labor attorney Jennifer Abruzzo has been floated by the AFL-CIO as a nominee to fill the vacant seat on the NLRB. Business interests have advised the administration to leave the seat vacant on the chance that William Emanual may feel the need to recuse himself from additional cases.

In the gig-economy world, Uber has agreed to settle lawsuits in California to the tune of $20 million. The settlement covers 13,600 drivers who weren’t covered by arbitration agreements. The original suit included 385,000 drivers, but when Uber’s arbitration agreements were upheld the numbers dropped significantly.

Tens of thousands of California truck drivers may soon be reclassified from contractors to employees, when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the California Trucking Association. The Association has stated it intends to pursue a separate legal challenge against a different ruling that also involved the classification of workers.