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Howard M. BloomBlog Posts

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Union Membership Rates Continue to Decline

By almost every measure, union membership rates continued its steady decline in 2019, according to the latest statistics on unionization rates in the United States from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The overall union membership rate in 2019 was 10.3%, down by 0.2% from 2018. The total number of unionized workers in 2019 was... Continue Reading
January 31, 2020

Unions Urge Board to Reconsider its Decision to Overrule Purple Communications on Ethics Grounds

Two unions are alleging a conflict of interest involving National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member William Emanuel should invalidate the NLRB’s recent decision in Caesars Entertainment Corp. d/b/a Rio All-Suites, 368 NLRB No. 143 (2019), in which the Board overruled Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 1050 (2014). Caesars Entertainment held that employees do not have... Continue Reading
January 22, 2020

House Passes Bill to Ratify USMCA and Promises Unprecedented Monitoring over Mexico’s Labor Reform

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) and create an unprecedented level of oversight over another country’s labor relations. If the bill becomes law, it could prompt even greater reforms to Mexico’s labor laws. For at least 50 years, a company in Mexico could recognize a... Continue Reading
December 20, 2019

NLRB: Investigation Confidentiality Rules Are Lawful

Overruling Banner Estrella Medical Center, 362 NLRB 1108 (2015), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that investigative confi­dentiality rules are lawful Category 1 rules under The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (2017), where by their terms the rules apply for the duration of any investi­gation. Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store,... Continue Reading
December 18, 2019

NLRB Overrules Purple Communications

Overruling Purple Communications, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that employees do not have a right under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to use employer equipment, including email and other IT systems, for Section 7 purposes. Caesars Entertainment d/b/a/ Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, 368 NLRB No. 143 (Dec. 17, 2019). The... Continue Reading
December 17, 2019

Bargaining Power Restored: NLRB Holds Dues Checkoff Ends at Contract Expiration

The National Labor Relations Board has held that an employer has no obligation to continue deducting union dues from employee paychecks pursuant to a dues checkoff provision in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after the CBA expires. Valley Hospital Medical Center, 368 NLRB No. 139 (Dec. 16, 2019). Chairman John Ring and Members William Emanuel... Continue Reading
December 17, 2019

NLRB: Employer’s Obligation to Deduct Union Dues Ends When CBA Ends

The National Labor Relations Board has held that an employer’s obligation to deduct union dues ends when the collective bargaining agreement containing the checkoff provision expires. Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a Valley Hospital Medical Center, 368 NLRB No. 139 (Dec. 16, 2019). The NLRB overruled Lincoln Lutheran of Racine, 362 NLRB 1655 (2015), in... Continue Reading
December 16, 2019

NLRB Announces Broad Modifications to 2014 ‘Quickie Election’ Rule

The NLRB has announced long-awaited major modifications to its controversial 2014 election rule. The draft rule will be published on December 18 and will go into effect 120 days after that, on April 16, 2020.  Critics of the so-called Quickie Election Rule are bound to view this as good news. The Board characterizes this draft... Continue Reading
December 13, 2019

NLRB Allows Decertification Process to Proceed During Certification Year Extension Period

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled an employee’s effort to decertify his union could proceed, despite a previous agreement between the employer and union extending the time during which decertification petitions are barred. Pinnacle Foods, 368 NLRB No. 97 (Oct. 21, 2019).   An employee filed a petition to decertify his union after the expiration of the “certification year,” the... Continue Reading
December 6, 2019

Employee Advocacy for Nonemployee, Unpaid Interns Is Not Protected by National Labor Relations Act

Unpaid interns are not “employees” as defined by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and employee advocacy on their behalf is not protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the NLRA, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled. Amnesty International of the USA, Inc., 368 NLRB No. 112 (Nov. 12, 2019). The NLRB also... Continue Reading
December 3, 2019

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