The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO Act) of 2019: An Outline of its Proposed Labor Reforms

On February 6, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2474, The Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (PRO Act). The PRO Act would fundamentally alter federal labor law by dramatically tilting the playing field in favor of labor unions at the expense of employers and employees.

USMCA Review: A New Deal for Labour in the ‘New NAFTA’

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a free-trade pact that was agreed to by U.S. President Donald Trump, then-president of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on November 30, 2018. This agreement changes the current rules governing North American trade contained in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The NLRB’s Revised Representation Case Procedures, Part I: The New Pre-Election Procedures

On December 18, 2019, the NLRB published final rules changing and clarifying many of the representation case procedures established in the 2014 amendments. The rules, which will take effect April 16, 2020, state unequivocally that “the Board is not rescinding the 2014 Amendments in their entirety.” Rather, the 2019 rules address issues of fairness and statutory compliance the 2014 amendments altered or did not address.

Arbitration Decisions Matter: The NLRB Reverts to Prior Standards on Deferral to Arbitration and Pre-Arbitration Settlements

Arbitration is a strongly favored federal policy and generally can be relied on to resolve even statutory discrimination claims. This is not a novel concept in federal jurisprudence from the Supreme Court of the United States down (although California and the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have and had a different view).

NLRB Restores Employers’ Right to Restrict Employees’ Personal Use of Company Email and Other IT Resources

In Caesars Entertainment d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Case 28-CA-060841 (December 16, 2019), the National Labor Relations Board ruled that employees do not have a statutory right under the National Labor Relations Act to use their employer’s email system or other information technology (IT) resources for Section 7 purposes, such as union organizing.

Trump NLRB Modifies Obama Board’s Union Election Case Regulations

One of the more significant reforms made by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under the leadership of President Barack Obama’s appointees were the modifications made to the representation-case procedures. These regulations became known to many as the “quickie” or “ambush” election regulations and, as those names suggest, resulted in union representation elections being held in shorter periods of time and consequently often caused employees to have to decide the question of union representation without the time needed to fully evaluate that important decision.

Common Neutrality Agreement Provisions Between Union and Hotel May Violate the NLRA

On November 20, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel granted an appeal filed by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) on behalf of a hotel housekeeper in Seattle finding that a neutrality agreement arguably violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the hotel’s recognition of the union pursuant to that agreement was unlawful.

NLRB Takes Commonsense Approach on Work Rule Enforcement

In a recent decision, a majority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) finding that an employer’s confidentiality rule and media rule violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Applying the balancing test articulated in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (2017), for the first time, the NLRB emphasized that a work rule is lawful if, when reasonably interpreted, it does not interfere with rights protected by the NLRA.

The Practical NLRB Advisor: Summer 2019

Ogletree Deakins’ Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group is pleased to announce the publication of the summer 2019 issue of the Practical NLRB Advisor. This edition examines the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new framework for determining whether an incumbent union has lost the support of a majority of bargaining unit members in circumstances where the employer informs the union that it will withdraw recognition when the current agreement expires.

NLRB Continues Trend to Protect Employer Property Rights

Coming on the heels of its decision in Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation d/b/a Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 368 NLRB No. 46 (2019) in which the Board rebalanced the rights of property owners versus Section 7 rights of employees during a labor dispute, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued another pro-employer decision.

Mexico’s New Requirements to Validate Existing Collective Bargaining Agreements: What Employers Need to Know

On July 31, 2019, Mexico’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare or Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS) published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación) (DOF) the protocol to legitimize currently existing collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).

The Practical NLRB Advisor: Spring 2019

Ogletree Deakins’ Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group is pleased to announce the publication of the spring 2019 issue of the Practical NLRB Advisor. This edition provides a close look at the development of the independent-contractor standard at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB’s recent decision on this issue—one of the most critical legal questions of the day, both in the context of traditional labor law and in employment law generally—marks yet another significant reversal of Obama-era NLRB decisional law.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Nonunion Employees’ Challenge to Unions’ Exclusive Representation of Unit Employees in Collective Bargaining

In Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, No. 16-1466 (June 27, 2018), the Supreme Court of the United States significantly expanded the rights of nonunion public employees by holding that unions may not collect fees from such employees without their consent.

UAW Abandons Maintenance-Only Unit in Move for Factory-Wide Representation

The United Auto Workers (UAW) have disclaimed the bargaining unit of 160 skilled-trades workers at Volkswagen’s (VW) Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant. The union organized the maintenance employees in 2015 but failed to secure a first contract for the group. In the past few years, the UAW has accused VW of multiple unfair labor practices, including that VW violated federal law by refusing to bargain.

Big Labor Takes a Hit: NLRB Prohibits Unions From Forcing Nonmembers to Pay for Lobbying Activities

In a long-awaited decision, United Nurses & Allied Professionals (Kent Hospital), issued on March 1, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a private-sector union may not require nonmember objectors (also known as Beck objectors) to pay for its political lobbying expenses because lobbying falls outside the union’s “representational function.”