• The NLRB sued Arizona over a recent amendment to its constitution, alleging that the amendment is preempted by the NLRA. The amendment requires a secret ballot election whenever a union election is permitted by state or federal law. South Dakota, South Carolina, and Utah voters recently approved similar constitutional amendments, but the NLRB stated it would proceed first with lawsuits in Arizona and South Dakota to conserve taxpayer resources. The NLRB alleges that under the NLRA, private sector employees have the right to opt for union representation by methods other than a secret ballot, such as the signing of authorization cards. Attorneys General of all four states responded that they would vigorously defend the amendments, which voters approved by large margins.
  • Tennessee enacted a law that prevents labor unions from including, in collective bargaining agreements, language prohibiting employees from withdrawing from a union or organizing in advance of a contract’s expiration. The maintenance-of-membership clauses become effective immediately.
  • The California Assembly passed a law that if signed by the governor will transform the way unions are created in California’s agricultural workplaces by eliminating the need for secret ballot elections. A union will be able to gain representation of a bargaining unit by submitting a petition accompanied by representation cards which have been signed by a majority of the unit.
  • A district court in Wisconsin struck down legislation that limits the collective bargaining rights of the state’s public employees, saying the law was pushed through in violation of an open meetings statute. The judge did not weigh in on the merits of the labor law — passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in March as throngs of protestors converged at the state capitol — but said the lack of public notice of a key meeting violated a state law that requires government bodies, including the legislature, to provide public notice when they meet. Ozanne v. Fitzgerald et al.