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Susan Haines is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's San Francisco office.

In a recent 2-1 decision in Quickway Transportation, Inc., 372 NLRB No. 127 (2023), the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) reversed the Administrative Law Judge and ordered a trucking company to re-open its terminal and restore the status quo ante when it held that the company’s decision to terminate all of its recently unionized truck drivers and close the terminal violated sections 8(a)(3) and 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). While this decision does not overturn existing Board precedent, as might be expected given the spate of recent decisions that we previously reported and discussed here, here, here, and here, but it is significant because it demonstrates the current Board’s willingness to rigorously sift through and interpret every aspect of the employer’s conduct to infer union animus and to rely on that inference even in the absence of direct evidence. Continue Reading Think Twice Before Closing the Shop Doors

On March 7, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“CFPB MOU”) that created a formal partnership between the two agencies. Per the CFPB MOU, the basis for this collaboration is a shared interest in “protecting American consumers and workers” to “better root out financial practices that harm workers,” to “enhance the enforcement of federal laws,” and to coordinate interagency goals, outreach and training. According to the NLRB, the targeted practices are “employer surveillance, monitoring, data collection, and employer-driven debt,” which can include employee-purchased equipment, supplies or required training. The CFPB’s focus is on practices in the “gig economy” and although “employer surveillance and employer-driven debt” are areas of “immediate concern,” the CFPB’s specific concern is directed to companies that may violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act by selling worker surveillance data and that as to employer-driven debt, the required purchases may not be competitively priced and/or may subject the employee to debt collection efforts.Continue Reading It’s Not Just the NLRB Watching You – NLRB Adds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Its Ever Growing List of Interagency Collaborations

Beginning January 1, 2024, and following the passage of Assembly Bill 2188, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) will add employee protections against discrimination based on off-the-job cannabis use with a few, limited exceptions. Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2188 into law on September 18, 2022. AB 2188 focuses on employee impairment from cannabis use, which it correlates only to the psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and places new requirements on employer-required drug screening tests. AB 2188 is significant because it is the first time that California’s permissive cannabis-use laws have been incorporated into the employment realm. California employers should consider reviewing their job application process and any pre-employment drug screening protocols, as well as their policies and practices relating to drug screening in connection with hiring, discipline, and termination to ensure they will comply with the new law. Continue Reading California Expands Employees’ Right to Off-Duty Cannabis Use