An NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled that Rite Aid unlawfully demanded a union to agree to remove certain future pharmacists and interns in New York from an existing bargaining unit as a condition to reaching a new contract. The ALJ ruled that a labor contract cannot depend on a condition that is not a mandatory subject of bargaining under federal labor law. Rite Aid of New York Inc. and Rite Aid of New Jersey Inc. v. 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.     

An NLRB ALJ ruled that a Delaware contractor and Pennsylvania contractor must hire back and bargain with two carpenters who were fired for attempting to unionize their employers. The contractors contended that they fired the carpenters for neglecting to bring their tools to work. Bristol Industrial Corporation et al and Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters et al.     

A state court in Texas entered a $7.8 million judgment against SEIU-Texas, which led the union to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. SEIU-Texas was found liable for falsely accusing Professional Janitorial Services of Houston Inc. of wage and hour violations as part of a long term feud against the non-union company. In re Service Employees Int'l Union-Tex.      

An Illinois state court granted a temporary restraining order enjoining Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner from implementing new union contract changes on certain public sector employees. The dispute arises out of on-going negotiations regarding a contract for state employees that expired in June 2015. After the Illinois Labor Relations Board officially declared an impasse in early December, Governor Rauner was free to impose the State’s last, best, and final offer on approximately 38,000 state employees represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME Council 31). AFSCME 31 v. State of Illinois et al.    

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overruled an NLRB order requiring Citigroup to remove class action waivers from employment arbitration agreements because it found that the order was precluded by Fifth Circuit precedent in D.R. Horton and Murphy Oil. The NLRB had ruled that employment contracts for former Citigroup anti-money laundering operations analysts were illegal because they contained class action waivers. Citigroup Technology Inc. et al. v. NLRB.     

The NLRB ordered a re-run election at URS Federal Services Inc. because the company failed to correctly provide a voter eligibility list to the IAM. The NLRB noted that although the list was sent to the Regional NLRB office, which immediately forwarded it to the IAM, new NLRB election rules require an employer to provide the voter list directly to both the NLRB regional office and the union. URS Federal Services Inc. and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District Lodge 725, AFL–CIO.     

The Sixth Circuit upheld an NLRB decision that JAG Healthcare committed unfair labor practices violations when it took over a nursing home in Ohio. The appellate court found that the NLRB correctly determined that JAG improperly fired employees who supported unionization and refused to recognize the union. The court also affirmed the NLRB’s finding that JAG management unlawfully threatened to call the police when a union organizer arrived at the nursing home property. NLRB v. JAG Healthcare, Inc.     

The NLRB ruled Aerotek Inc. must offer a job and back pay to an electrician who was denied employment because of his ties to a union. The Board found that Brett Johnson was denied employment when Aerotek realized he was associated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and that if hired, he planned to organize the other electricians working for Aerotek. Aerotek, Inc.    

The Fifth Circuit affirmed an NLRB decision that UNF West Inc., a California food distributor, was responsible for the coercive statements made by its labor consultants during an organizing campaign. During a Teamster organizing campaign, the third party labor consultants communicated that UNF could lower the workers’ wages if the employees voted the Teamsters in. The labor consultants also insinuated that workers did not have the right to unionize. Although the statements were not explicit threats, the Fifth Circuit still found that the communications were enough to be considered unlawful. UNF West, Inc. v. NLRB.     

The NLRB ruled that Howard Industries lawfully modified its policies concerning Christmas gifts for employees by emailing notice of the change in advance to its employees’ union, the IBEW. Howard emailed the IBEW local president advising that Howard would alter its gift policy to limit the number and types of gifts that employees were eligible to receive, but the IBEW never responded. Under the parties’ labor agreement, the company had the right to implement policy changes following 10 days’ notice to the union unless it objected. Howard Indus., Inc.     

The NLRB ruled that financing union dues with proceeds from snack food sales from an employer’s vending machines, violates federal labor law prohibiting the employer from making payments to a labor organization. Employees at Wells Enterprises Inc. in Iowa were not obligated to pay dues or fees to their union, United Dairy Workers of Le Mars. Instead, the union received an 8 percent commission on vending machine sales from the company’s plant. The NLRB found this arrangement was an unfair labor practice because the employer was implicitly offering a benefit to the union. Wells Enters., Inc.