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Construction Industry Workplace Law Update – Winter 2021

  • January 5, 2021

Why Is ‘Scabby the Rat’ a Legal Dilemma?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had invited briefs on bannering and displays of “Scabby the Rat,” the giant roadside inflatable rat (or other gruesome creature) used in many labor disputes. At issue is the conflicting labor law principles distinguishing between lawful publicity of a dispute and unlawful coercive conduct. 

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Is Employer’s Unilateral Change Protected by Labor Law’s ‘Contract Coverage’ Standard?

Whether an employer’s unilateral change to employee procedures violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is determine by whether the change “falls within the compass or scope of contract language that grants the employer the right to act unilaterally,” the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has emphasized in a recent case. 

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General Contractors Can Face Increased Liability for Employment Actions of Their Subcontractors

While general or prime contractors have always faced the risk of liability for the actions or inactions of their subcontractors, an increase risk of state statutory liability for certain actions and inactions of subcontractors may be on the horizon. 

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Is Your Subcontractor Actually a ‘Labor Broker’?

Under certain conditions, a purported subcontractor of a general contractor (or higher tier subcontractor) may be found to be a “labor broker” — a supplier of workers — rather than a true subcontractor. 

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What to Expect from OSHA Under the Biden Administration

President-Elect Joseph Biden has not named a nominee for Secretary of Labor yet, much less an Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health who would lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). But individuals with a background in organized labor may be forerunners. He has promised to be “the most pro-union president you have ever seen” and that “unions are going to have increased power” in his administration. 

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Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions about these developments.

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