An NLRB administrative law judge found that a California hospital failed to comply with a previous Board order by posting a notice alongside a required NLRB posting for employees, and committed a number of actions that interfered with a representation election held last year. The ALJ recommended a rerun of a representation election held in June 2014, in which nurses at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, California rejected representation by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United by a vote of 462–352. The ALJ found that the hospital interfered with the election by, among other things, sending all employees in the proposed bargaining unit a DVD with possible scenarios that could result from unionization and posting a “side notice” next to a required NLRB posting. Sutter Cent. Valley Hosps.
The NLRB ruled that a catering company violated federal labor law when it fired a server who called a manager a “nasty mother f” and posted “vote YES for the UNION” on Facebook two days before a union election. The employer argued that such “vulgar and obscene” comments forfeited legal protection, but a Board majority held that the comments constituted protected, concerted activity because the comments arose from an incident of alleged mistreatment by the manager, which was one of driving forces behind the organizing efforts. Pier Sixty LLC.
The NLRB ruled that Arc Bridges Inc. unlawfully withheld a raise from unionrepresented workers in 2007, while nonunion workers got a threepercent pay bump. The majority held that, among other things, the record showed an executive director intended to give workers a three percent wage increase until they voted in favor of representation by the American Federation of Professional and statements from managers essentially encouraged employees to blame the union for the pay bump being withheld. Arc Bridges.
The NLRB reversed a Regional Director’s decision to allow a decertification petition pertaining to an Americold Logistics LLC bargaining unit to move forward, saying the petition was barred because it was filed too soon after the parties’ first bargaining meeting. According to the ruling, the issue in this case was whether the oneyear bargaining period under the recognition bar begins running from the date the employer recognized the union or from the start of bargaining. The Board stated that, “[w]e make clear here that the ‘reasonable period of bargaining’ under the recognition bar is a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year, measured from the date of the first bargaining meeting between the union and the employer.” Americold Logistics LLC et al.
The NLRB refused to approve an ALJ’s recommendation of withdrawal of an unfair labor practice charge challenging an employer’s maintenance and enforcement of employee arbitration agreements that contain a class action waiver. The ALJ found transportation provider Flyte Time Worldwide violated the NLRA by requiring employees to sign the agreements, and recommended that the company be ordered to halt its efforts to block a class and collective wage and hour action brought by employees under federal and state law. Flyte Time appealed the ALJ’s decision, but it later settled the underlying wage and hour case, with the employees agreeing to withdraw the NLRB charge. The NLRB denied the withdrawal and held that the settlement resolved the private rights of employees under wage and hour laws, but it left in place an unlawful requirement that employees waive the right to file class and collective action claims in all forums. Flyte Tyme Worldwide.
The NLRB affirmed an ALJ determination that Professional Transportation Inc. violated federal labor law when it refused to bargain with the Teamsters unless the union agreed that any deal would be void if the Supreme Court upheld Noel Canning. The ALJ had found that the transportation company ran afoul of its duty to bargain in good faith when it tried to insist that the union agree that any further bargaining would be subject to the company’s reservation of rights—that the Supreme Court’s decision in Noel Canning could therefore decertify the bargaining unit and void any collective bargaining agreement. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 512.
A federal district court in Minnesota enjoined an equipment maker from threatening that employees would suffer reprisals if they supported a union, but it refused to order employer A.S.V. Inc. to bargain with the union on an interim basis while the NLRB resolves unfair labor practice charges against the company. Osthus v. A.S.V., Inc.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a district court erred when it granted the NLRB an injunction compelling Creative Vision Resources LLC to recognize a union. The court held that the alleged labor law violations at issue were not “egregious or exceptional.” United Labor Unions Local 100 filed an NLRB charge against Creative Vision, faulting the company for refusing to recognize or bargain with it. The union alleged that Creative Vision was a successor to a company, Berry, which had struck bargaining agreements with the union, and was therefore required to bargain. M. McKinney v. Creative Vision Resources, LLC.
The NLRB decided that two unions, the United Construction Trades and Industrial Employees Union Local 621 and SEIU Local 32BJ are barred from representing recently hired cleaning employees of a New York airport contractor because the workers already are covered by an existing labor contract with another union, the United Workers of America, Local 660. It denied a separate motion filed by the contractor, which argued that it was covered by the Railway Labor Act, which covers the airline industry. Airway Cleaners, LLC.
The D.C. Circuit upheld an NLRB ruling that federal labor law did not require the Amalgamated Transit Union to remove Facebook comments posted by union members threatening workers who crossed a picket line, finding that the union is not responsible for members’ comments in a private online forum. Plaintiff Charles Weigand, a nonunion Veolia Transportation Services Inc. bus driver, argued on appeal that the union should be held responsible for the comments since a union officer controlled the group’s Facebook page. A threejudge D.C. Circuit panel disagreed, saying the comments do not equate to misconduct on a picket line. Charles Weigand v. NLRB.
The NLRB urged a federal district court in Kentucky to invalidate a county ordinance, Hardin County’s Ordinance 300, that prohibits the use of unionsecurity provisions in collective bargaining agreements and regulates other practices which the Board argued are preempted by the NLRA. The Board argued that while Section 14(b) of the NLRA allows states or territories to prohibit unionsecurity agreements, it does not authorize counties or political subdivisions to adopt similar measures. The NLRB also argued that Ordinance 300 is preempted to the extent it outlaws union hiring halls, regulates duescheckoff agreements, and prohibits coercion and discrimination related to support or nonsupport for a labor organization. The Board further asserted that regulation of those matters falls under Sections 7 and 8 of the NLRA and is unaffected by Section 14(b). Auto Workers Local 3047 v. Hardin County.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated an injunction imposed in 2013 to stop a strike by Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen members, finding that a railroad carrier’s use of managers on train crews – instead of engineers or conductors – constituted a major dispute under the Railway Labor Act. Wheeling & Lake Erie Ry. v. Locomotive Eng’rs.
A federal district court in Washington, D.C. rejected a concrete contractor’s bid to block implementation of the Board’s amended representation case regulations. Baker DC LLC sought a temporary restraining order after United Construction Workers Local 202 filed a petition seeking an NLRBsupervised vote on union representation among Baker carpenters and laborers working in and around the District of Columbia. Baker DC, LLC v. NLRB.
An NLRB ALJ ruled that an Applebee’s restaurant operator’s arbitration policy precluding worker class actions violated federal labor law, despite the employer’s argument that its dispute resolution program was in line with federal case precedent. The Rose Group, which operates Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill restaurants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, argued that the ALJ should not follow the Board’s controversial D.R. Horton and Murphy Oil decisions but instead look to precedent from federal courts. However, the ALJ determined she was required to apply Board law unless it has been reversed by the Supreme Court. The Rose Group d/b/a Applebee’s Restaurant.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found the NLRB failed to examine a New Jersey health care facility’s motives when it determined that the employer improperly withheld benefits from workers mulling unionization. The threejudge panel declared it was “at a loss” as to why the Board sided with an ALJ’s ruling that 800 River Road Operating Co. LLC, which does business as Woodcrest Health Care Center, violated labor laws in withholding the benefits, but didn’t consider “that a violation of [labor laws] normally turns on an employer’s antiunion purpose or motive.” National Labor Relations Board v. 800 River Road.
The NLRB ruled that IAM and Aerospace Workers, AFL–CIO, District 70 and Local Lodge 839, representing thousands of Spirit AeroSystems Inc. workers in Wichita, Kans., violated federal labor law when a representative caused the terminations of two workers and threatened one of them with “bodily harm.” The ALJ ruled that the union was on the hook for a union agent’s forwarding emails that had a video of a collision between a truck and scooter by the company’s entrance to Spirit management. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFLCIO District 70 and Local Lodge 839.
A partial settlement, between the EEOC and Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association was proposed in a longrunning race discrimination case against a New York City sheet metal workers union local that would set a compensation fund to make back pay awards estimated at $12.7 million over five years. The race and national origin discrimination lawsuit was filed in 1971 by the Justice Department, the New York Human Rights Division, and New York City under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, on behalf of black and Hispanic workers denied admission to Local 28. The EEOC took over the case from the DOJ in 1974. Over its 44year span, the case yielded numerous decisions, including a 1975 finding of discrimination and a series of contempt orders against the local ending in 2005. In January 2008, a partial settlement was reached in the case for $6.2 million in back pay claims from January 1984 through March 1991. The new partial settlement proposal covers claims of workhour disparities, or underemployment, based on race from April 1991 through June 2006. The settlement must still be approved by the Southern District of New York. EEOC v. Local 638.