As we previously reported here, at the beginning of 2023, the Supreme Court heard oral argument on one of the most anticipated labor cases on the high court’s docket in decades to address whether the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”) preempts state court lawsuits for tort damages caused by unions during strikes. On June 1, 2023, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Glacier Northwest, Inc., dba Calportland v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 174, U.S., No. 21 – 1449, reversing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision and held that the employer’s state law tort claims were not preempted by the Act.
On March 22, 2023 Jennifer Abruzzo, General Counsel (“GC”) of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) issued a memorandum intended to assist the Regions in responding to inquiries regarding the Board decision in McLaren Macomb, 372 NLRB No. 58 (2023).…
As we previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) under President Biden is working to undo much of any employer-friendly actions taken during the previous administration. On February 21, 2023, the Board continued in its trend and wiped away a Trump-era ruling which gave employers certain latitude in drafting and executing severance agreements with their employees. Specifically, the Board, in a divided decision, ruled employers can no longer offer severance agreements containing clauses that (i) prevent employees from making disparaging remarks about their former employer or (ii) compel departing employees to keep the contents of the severance agreement confidential.…
Continue Reading We Can Now Add Civility and Secrecy to the List of Things Money Can’t Buy: NLRB Rules Non-Disparagement and Confidentiality Clauses in Severance Agreements Unlawfully Restrain and Coerce Employees
Did an NLRB’s Regional Director abuse her discretion when she directed a mail ballot election instead of an in-person (manual) ballot election during the COVID-19 pandemic? Though not getting the attention it deserves, this is an extremely important issue going to the very integrity of the Board’s representation process. Manual balloting has long been the Board’s preferred manner of conducting an election because mail balloting is held under less controlled conditions and, thus, more prone to irregularities. Moreover, mail ballot elections may result in lower employee election participation. Most importantly to employers, mail ballot elections also generally favor unions.
Continue Reading The Board Weighs In on the COVID Mail Ballot Controversy
On June 23, the National Labor Relations Board’s (Board or NLRB) issued a decision in Mountaire Farms, Inc., 5-RD-256888 in which the Board granted review of a Regional Director’s decision applying the Board’s contract bar doctrine, finding that the case presented substantial issues warranting the NLRB’s review and announcing its intention to establish a schedule for the filing of briefs on review and inviting amicus briefs. On July 7, the Board acted on that intention and issued a Notice and Invitation To File Briefs in the case (Notice). …
Continue Reading Board Invites Briefs and Signals a Possible Shift in Its Contract Bar Rules
As we previously discussed earlier this month, District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued an Order in American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations v. National Labor Relations Board, Civil Case No. 2020-0675, invalidating five of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB or Board) soon-to-be implemented new elections rules (2019 rules). Issued in haste on May 30 to head off the Board’s May 31 implementation of the new rules, Judge Jackson’s Order offered little explanation for her decision except to say that she found each of the challenged new election procedure rules unlawful and set them aside because they were “not procedural rules” exempted from the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements.
Continue Reading Judge Jackson Explains the Basis for Her Invalidation of the Board’s Election Regulations
On June 10, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) issued Bethany College, 369 NLRB No. 98, in which it held that it does not have jurisdiction over matters concerning teachers or faculty at bona fide religious educational institutions. Bona fide religious educational institutions are those who (1) hold themselves out to students, faculty and the community as providing a religious educational environment; (2) are nonprofit organizations; and (3) are affiliated with, or owned, operated or controlled by a recognized religious organization or with an entity, membership of which is determined, at least in part, with reference to religion. In Bethany College, the Board also overruled its decision in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB 1404 (2014), where the Board had concluded it could assert jurisdiction over a religious school and its teachers if the teachers were not held out as performing a specific role in creating or maintaining the school’s religious educational environment. In overruling Pacific Lutheran on constitutional grounds, the Bethany College Board found that its Pacific Lutheran decision could not be squared with the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent.
Continue Reading The NLRB Rethinks Its Position on When It May Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Schools in Labor Matters Involving Faculty Members