Construction employers and general contractors are all too familiar with Scabby the Rat. The inflatable rat—appearing in sizes of up to a reported 30 feet tall—has infested construction job sites as part of trade union protest activities targeting employers that are not signatory to union labor agreements.
In lightning-fast fashion, Kentucky became the 27th state to enact right-to-work legislation over the weekend. After the 2016 elections, in which Republicans took control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1920, right-to-work was at the top of the agenda. Governor Matt Bevin signed the bill (HB-1) into law on Saturday, January 7, 2017—the same day the bill was approved by the Senate and just two days after the House passed it.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will now permit a single bargaining unit to include employees who are solely employed by an employer along with other employees who are jointly employed by that employer and a staffing provider, all without the consent of either employer. The NLRB’s July 11, 2016 decision in Miller & Anderson, Inc. overturns more than a decade of precedent under the NLRB’s 2004 Oakwood Care Center decision, in which the NLRB previously held that jointly-employed employees could not be included in a bargaining unit with solely-employed employees unless both employers consent to the multi-employer bargaining arrangement.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made union organizing by email and social media a reality. The NLRB’s General Counsel issued Memorandum 15-08 on September 1, 2015, stating that, “[e]ffective immediately, parties may submit electronic signatures in support of a showing of interest.” On October 26, 2015, the General Counsel issued Revised Memorandum 15-08 providing more detail and examples of how the new process will work. Employers should expect unions to take advantage of this groundbreaking development by using email and social media to expedite and expand the organizing process.