Labor and Employment Law

Recent Posts

6th Circuit Strikes Back Against Union’s Self-Help Protest
Posted on 3 Aug 2011 by Jon Hyman

When does a union protest turn from lawful, protected conduct to unlawful harassment? A case decided yesterday by the 6th Circuit provides some guidance. Pulte Homes, Inc. v. Laborers' International Union of N. Am. (6th Cir. 8/2/11) [pdf] starts... Read More

NLRB Punts on Northwestern Football Union
Posted on 18 Aug 2015 by Philip Miles

Yesterday, the NLRB issued its long-awaited decision in the Northwestern University football team's union bid. So, are college football players employees, or not? The NLRB drops back... annnnnd... it's a punt! You can read the decision and a press... Read More

NLRB, College Athletes, and the Case That Doesn’t Really Matter
Posted on 18 Aug 2015 by Jon Hyman

Yesterday, the NLRB closed its book on the attempt of Northwestern University’s scholarship football players to unionize, not with a thud but with a whimper. The NLRB unanimously passed on the issue of whether college athletes are “employees”... Read More

Business Groups Challenge Constitutionality of NLRB “Ambush” Election Rule
Posted on 28 Jan 2015 by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

by Jami K. Suver On December 15, 2014, slightly less than three years after the NLRB’s first thwarted attempt, a final rule (the “2014 Final Rule”) reducing the time between the filing of an election petition and holding workplace... Read More

NLRB Provides Employers a Roadmap to a Legally Compliant Off-Duty Access Policy
Posted on 4 Nov 2015 by Jon Hyman

Can an employer lawfully limit non-employees’ access to its facility? On its face, such a question might seem silly. After all, an employer should be able to control its property, right? What about access by union organizers? Does this wrinkle change... Read More

Lareau on Titan Tire Corp. of Freeport, Inc. v. USW: Seventh Circuit Holds Employer's Payment of Union Officials' Salaries Unlawful
Posted on 22 Dec 2013 by Peter Lareau

The Seventh Circuit held that an employer violated the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), when it paid the salaries of former employees who were serving as full-time employees of the union that represented the employer's employees. In doing so... Read More

White House Weighed in on MA Union Bill
Posted on 18 Jul 2011 by State Net

Back in April, shortly after Massachusetts' Democrat-controlled House, at the bidding of the state's Democratic governor, Deval Patrick, passed a decidedly un-Democrat-like bill curbing the collective bargaining rights of public employees,... Read More

'Referendum' on Union Rights Still Too Close to Call in WI
Posted on 11 Apr 2011 by State Net

A new front opened last Tuesday in Wisconsin's month-long battle over union rights, which moved to the courts two weeks ago. (See Battle Over Union Power in WI Shifts to Courts ) The state held an election for Supreme Court justice, which pit Democrat... Read More

Election Day Turnaround for Unions
Posted on 3 Dec 2012 by State Net

Less than two years ago, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced plans to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights as a means of shoring up the state budget, touching off a wave of efforts across the country aimed at curbing union... Read More

Northwestern University Football Players Can Unionize, Says NLRB
Posted on 27 Mar 2014 by LexisNexis Legal Newsroom Staff

CHICAGO -- National Labor Relations Board Region 13 Director Peter Sung Ohr issued a decision yesterday in the case ( 13-RC-121359 ) brought by Northwestern University football players seeking to unionize, concluding that all grant-in-aid scholarship... Read More

Why Did a Judge Vacate Tom Brady's Suspension?
Posted on 3 Sep 2015 by Philip Miles

I'm assuming you already heard about it - today, a federal judge vacated Tom Brady's 4-game suspension for "Deflate Gate ." You can read the actual order here . Generally, arbitration decisions are final and courts afford them extraordinary... Read More

Union Power Struggle Still Not Over in WI
Posted on 7 Jun 2011 by State Net

Things have quieted down a bit in Madison, Wisconsin since March, when the state's Republican majority pushed a bill through the Legislature curbing the collective bargaining rights of most public employees amid raucous protests. But the battle over... Read More

Lareau on WKYC-TV: Abandoning Precedent, Board Holds Dues Deduction Clause Survives Contract Expiration
Posted on 4 Feb 2013 by Peter Lareau

This EIA discusses a recent decision of the NLRB that overturned 50 years of precedent. The impact of the Boards decision in WKYC-TV, holding that dues deduction clauses can survive contract expiration is analyzed with practical insight and commentary... Read More

Partisan Sparring over CT Union Deal
Posted on 25 May 2011 by State Net

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) and union officials have reached a comprehensive deal that is projected to save the state $1.6 billion over the next two fiscal years. One of the agreement's provisions is the imposition of a $35 copayment on... Read More

Detroit's Bankruptcy: Lessons For Employers
Posted on 19 Sep 2013 by John Holmquist

Most of the national attention to Detroit's bankruptcy has subsided. Those of us here in Detroit, however, have a daily dose of news about the proceeding. The Detroit Free Press ran an excellent in depth article this Sunday concerning to the causes... Read More

  • Blog Post: GOP Power Struggle with Unions Rages on in Midwest

    Republican lawmakers in two of the states at the center of the conflict over union rights conceded a bit of ground a couple of weeks ago. But the high-stakes battle in those states and elsewhere is far from over. On Feb. 23, Republicans in the Ohio Senate agreed to rework a bill eliminating collective...
  • Blog Post: Many States Already Restrict Collective Bargaining

    Twelve states have laws granting collective bargaining rights only to certain groups of workers, such as teachers or firefighters, according to a 2002 U.S. GAO report. Twelve others have no laws guaranteeing collective bargaining rights for any public workers. But those numbers may rise soon. Fifteen...
  • Blog Post: 'Referendum' on Union Rights Still Too Close to Call in WI

    A new front opened last Tuesday in Wisconsin's month-long battle over union rights, which moved to the courts two weeks ago. (See Battle Over Union Power in WI Shifts to Courts ) The state held an election for Supreme Court justice, which pit Democrat-backed challenger Assistant Attorney General...
  • Blog Post: Partisan Sparring over CT Union Deal

    Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) and union officials have reached a comprehensive deal that is projected to save the state $1.6 billion over the next two fiscal years. One of the agreement's provisions is the imposition of a $35 copayment on state employees for non-emergency visits to the emergency...
  • Blog Post: Union Power Struggle Still Not Over in WI

    Things have quieted down a bit in Madison, Wisconsin since March, when the state's Republican majority pushed a bill through the Legislature curbing the collective bargaining rights of most public employees amid raucous protests. But the battle over union power in the state continues. Last month...
  • Blog Post: WI High Court Reinstates Union Rights Law

    Last week, The Wisconsin Supreme Court spared the state's Republican lawmakers from having to do what many were hoping to avoid: passing the collective bargaining bill that had touched off weeks of protests in Madison earlier this year a second time. In a 4-3 decision split along the court's...
  • Blog Post: White House Weighed in on MA Union Bill

    Back in April, shortly after Massachusetts' Democrat-controlled House, at the bidding of the state's Democratic governor, Deval Patrick, passed a decidedly un-Democrat-like bill curbing the collective bargaining rights of public employees, the governor received a concerned phone call from...
  • Blog Post: 6th Circuit Strikes Back Against Union’s Self-Help Protest

    When does a union protest turn from lawful, protected conduct to unlawful harassment? A case decided yesterday by the 6th Circuit provides some guidance. Pulte Homes, Inc. v. Laborers' International Union of N. Am. (6th Cir. 8/2/11) [pdf] starts out like any ordinary dispute between an employer...
  • Blog Post: Ohio Republicans Backpedal on Union Bill

    Five months ago, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Republican lawmakers pushed through Senate Bill 5, restricting public employees' collective bargaining rights, banning them from striking and requiring them to pay a larger share of their health care costs and pension contributions. But now Kasich...
  • Blog Post: The NLRB Gives Unions a Boost … Again

    by John R. Merinar, Jr. As readers of this blog know well, union organizers all over the country have had the chance to act like children on Christmas morning an awful lot lately thanks to the National Labor Relations Board. Putting aside for a minute the fact that things have gotten so bad...
  • Blog Post: Foley & Lardner Labor and Employment Law Weekly Update (Week of October 17, 2011)

    Labor Board Ruling Gives Unions More Rights to Organize Smaller Subgroups of a Company's Workforce Written by: Bernard J. Bobber In our September 6, 2011 update, our article entitled, " The NLRB Continues Its March to the Left " made a short and general mention of a very recent...
  • Blog Post: Lareau on UGL-UNICCO Service Co.: The Saga of the Successor Bar

    In August 2011, in UGL-UNICCO Service Co., the NLRB reinstituted the successor bar doctrine (precluding a challenge to the incumbent union's majority status for a reasonable period of time), although with modifications, defining a reasonable period of bargaining during which the successor bar...
  • Blog Post: New NLRB General Counsel's Position Can Alter Location of Striking Workers in Favor of Labor Unions

    by J. Michael McGuire and Bryan O'Keefe Excerpt: In a labor union strike, the physical location of strikers in relationship to the employer's facility can impact the level of disruption to the employer's business and therefore the overall success-or failure-of the work stoppage...
  • Blog Post: Split High Court Finds Mid-Year Agency Fees Require New Notice, Consent

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An appeal of a lawsuit by nonunion employees who pay an annual fee to their union and are challenging what constitutes proper notice of temporary mid-year fees assessed by a union and used for political purposes is not moot, a U.S. Supreme Court majority ruled on...
  • Blog Post: Victories All Around in Chicago Teachers Strike

    Nearly all of the parties involved in the stalemate between Chicago teachers and Mayor Rahm Emanuel that shut down the city's schools for eight days last month seem to have gotten something out of the dispute. Teachers may have gained the most. The contract settlement that ended the strike...
  • Blog Post: Election Day Turnaround for Unions

    Less than two years ago, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced plans to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights as a means of shoring up the state budget, touching off a wave of efforts across the country aimed at curbing union power. Unions have lost most of those battles...
  • Blog Post: Right to Work in Michigan: An Unexpected Journey

    Is "right to work" an emotional topic in Michigan? Consider the headline on the front page of the Sunday Detroit Free Press---- Right to work: the battle for Michigan's soul. For the second time in two months, Michigan residents are getting a lesson in collective bargaining. The first...
  • Blog Post: Lareau on Cofire Paving Corp.: Employer's Bargaining Obligation When Compliance with Union Contract Impossible

    The NLRB addressed, for the first time, the issue of the extent of an employer's bargaining obligation to a successor union when the employer, for reasons not under its control, is unable to maintain the terms and conditions of employment that prevailed under the predecessor union's collective...
  • Blog Post: Lareau on WKYC-TV: Abandoning Precedent, Board Holds Dues Deduction Clause Survives Contract Expiration

    This EIA discusses a recent decision of the NLRB that overturned 50 years of precedent. The impact of the Boards decision in WKYC-TV, holding that dues deduction clauses can survive contract expiration is analyzed with practical insight and commentary. Excerpt: Although not expressly set forth...
  • Blog Post: Union Membership Took Big Hit in 2012

    The number of American workers grew by 2.4 million in 2012. But fewer of them were members of a union. In fact, the national union membership rate fell last year to its lowest level in nearly a century. And there's no shortage of reasons for that decline. Union membership in the United States...
  • Blog Post: Illinois Averts State Worker Strike

    After more than 15 months of negotiations, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and the state's largest state employee union reached a tentative contract agreement last week averting what would likely have been the biggest state worker strike in the country since collective bargaining laws were enacted...
  • Blog Post: U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Suit over Organizing Assistance

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 granted a petition for writ of certiorari in a case regarding whether an employer and union may enter into an agreement under which the employer promises to remain neutral to union organizing and grants unions reps limited access...
  • Blog Post: Indiana Right-To-Work Law Declared Unconstitutional

    Indiana approved a right-to-work law last year only after two years of bitter partisan conflict that spurred minority Democrats to temporarily flee the state and thousands of union workers to descend on the Statehouse in protest. But now that law appears to be headed to the state Supreme Court. This...
  • Blog Post: Detroit's Bankruptcy: Lessons For Employers

    Most of the national attention to Detroit's bankruptcy has subsided. Those of us here in Detroit, however, have a daily dose of news about the proceeding. The Detroit Free Press ran an excellent in depth article this Sunday concerning to the causes of the city's financial disaster. As painful...
  • Blog Post: Michigan's Right to Work Law and the NLRB

    The unexpected passage of the Michigan right to work legislation has led some Michigan employers to believe the threat of union organizing campaigns has diminished. While the issue of right to work will remain a hot topic until the next general election, employers should be aware of the fact that a decision...