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Category Archives: Labor Law & NLRB

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Quick Hits: Transgender Workplaces; Proving Emotional Harm; “Digital Natives”; Labor History in Schools

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Labor Law & NLRB, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

With Twitter, I’ve been doing less “recap” posts of late. Why? For the simple reason that you can get all of the posts I’ve read of late on Twitter. We didn’t have that when I started the blog nearly 8 years ago. (Side note: It was eight years ago this week that I came up… Continue Reading

Cleaning Up Your Employee Handbooks, NLRB-Style

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Social Media

Last month, I had the opportunity to speak to the American Law Institute for a CLE program on the latest guidance from the NLRB on various employee handbook policies. When I first wrote about it in March, I had expected to followup shortly thereafter with another recap. But in the meantime, I found that much… Continue Reading

When Reviewing a Reinstatement Decision by an Arbitrator, Consider Over a Dozen Factors

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

If you like getting lost on roads with your head spinning on which way to go, this is your post.  (Everyone else, well, try to keep up.) I recap a case for companies with unions to pay attention to. Let’s start with this example: Employee X is required by law to report suspected abuse in her job. She fails… Continue Reading

I’ve Got a Secret: Recordings in the Workplace

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Wage & Hour

I’ve talked before about the use of recordings in the workplace. But this week, my colleague Jarad Lucan revisits the subject in light of some new decisions and the increasing presence of smartphones in the workplace. It is a safe bet that most if not all of your employees own a mobile or smart phone.  It… Continue Reading

Consistency in Arguments is Key for Labor Arbitrations

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

My colleague, Jarad Lucan, returns today to recap a notable labor case that the Connecticut Appellate court decided this week (but officially released on March 24, 2015).  It’s worth a read, even for non-union types, if only to show the importance of consistency in arguments. A recent Appellate Court case, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Council 4, Local… Continue Reading

BREAKING: NLRB’s General Counsel Office Issues Important Report On Employer Rules

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Social Media

The NLRB’s General Counsel’s office today released a lengthy report “concerning recent employer rule” cases. That sounds generic. It’s not. Rather, the NLRB is now outlining its views on otherwise-neutral employer policies and whether they could be deemed to violate federal labor law.  While part of the report is a recap of existing caselaw, this… Continue Reading

Labor Union Membership Up Big Locally and Down Nationally, Recent Statistics Show

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB

The U.S. Department of Labor has released their annual statistics on labor union membership.  Nationwide, union membership is down slightly by .2 percent. In total, about 11 percent of the workforce belongs to a union.  Compared to 2008, when I reported on these statistics, the number is down by a full percentage point. The numbers… Continue Reading

A Look Ahead: Three Bold Predictions in Employment Law for 2015

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations

Every year, I break out a crystal ball, or a magic 8-ball, or some tea leaves, and make some pronouncement about what will happen in the upcoming year. It’s sort of a no-lose proposition. If I’m right, well, then I pat myself on the back. If I’m wrong, well, it’s just an educated guess. So,… Continue Reading

NLRB and the “Purple” Crayon: NLRB Rewrites Its Decision on Employer E-mail

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

The NLRB, right now, is union-friendly. We know it. Employers know it. Politicians know it. The unions know it. It’s stacked 3-2 with Democrat appointees so the NLRB taking its training wheels off and is doing what it has always done. It has shifted its decisions based on the politics. Yesterday represented just the latest… Continue Reading

Reflections on Early Labor Relations & Anniversaries

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB

As I take some extended time off from the office, frequent guest poster Chris Engler takes a look back at some of the earliest background on labor history. Because I majored in history in college, I’m a firm believer that understanding history is of great benefit when planning for the future. Autumn is in many… Continue Reading

A Small Tribute to a Professional Arbitrator and Mediator: “Larry” Foy

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB

James “Larry” Foy passed away earlier this week.  (His memorial service is scheduled for tomorrow in Southwick, Massachusetts.) For those of us in Connecticut that were blessed with having had a case with him as an arbitrator or mediator — and there were many — his death will leave a substantial void. Indeed, Larry was a labor arbitrator… Continue Reading

Connecticut Bar Has Trouble with the NLRB’s Curveball on Social Media

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB, Social Media

As our big Labor Day weekend kicks off, it seems appropriate to bring back a “labor” topic, particularly when mixed with one of our favorite topics here: Social Media. Today, my colleague Jarad Lucan returns with a case straight out of Connecticut with national implications. As most readers of this blog have read before (here,… Continue Reading

Cameras in the Workplace Among Topics in Latest “Employment Law Letter”

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

While you might think our department at Shipman & Goodwin LLP would be content to rest on just this blog, my fellow colleagues have actually been passing along tidbits for years in its quarterly Employment Law Letter publication. The latest issue is now available online here. I really like the cover article on cameras in… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: EEOC Strikes Again, Desk Shenanigans, New Executive Order, Union Dues, Sharing Salary Info

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Time for another installment of quick hits where I share a few stories that I had hoped to write further about and finally concede that, because of time limitations, I probably won’t. So, you settle a discrimination case with the EEOC.  You’re done, right? Well, not exactly, as this post from the Workplace Class Action… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Invalidates NLRB Recess Appointments; Dozens of Decisions Impacted

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision (with a heated split on the reasoning), ruled that the recess appointments to the NLRB made by President Obama during a three-day recess were invalid. You can download the decision here. Much of the early instant analysis has focused on the recess appointment power itself. But for… Continue Reading

You Be The “Judge”: Is Swearing at Work Protected by Federal Law?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

Let’s try something a little new today: I’ll give you some facts and see if you can pick the result that a court or agency found. (Hat tip to Overlawyered for highlighting some of these issues.)  I’ll give you the lesson learned from these cases at the end. Used Car Salesman Loses Temper 1.  Nick… Continue Reading

From the Archives: Be Specific In Sending an Issue to Labor Arbitration

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

As I’ve done in the past when I’ve been tied up with a trial or arbitration, today will bring a “Blast from the Past” — a post that you might have missed the first time around. Indeed, because this post is from July 2008, odds are that even if you saw it, it’ll still be fresh today. … Continue Reading

The New “Value” Proposition: NLRB Yet Again Rules the Reasonable Unreasonable

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Social Media

I sound like a broken record, but once again, the NLRB is striking down reasonable rules as unreasonable.  My colleague, Gary Starr (as always, read his bio here), today shares a recent case from the NLRB that found that a “Values and Standards of Behavior Policy” of one employer — something that you might think is… Continue Reading

Another March Madness: What Yesterday’s Decision Really Means For Student Athletes

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

Late yesterday, Twitter lit up with news that collegiate student athletes are really “employees”.  But beyond the headline, my colleague Jarad Lucan explains what REALLY happened in plain English. Suffice to say, even though it’s March Madness, you might not want to bet on that result just yet. Many of you may remember a few… Continue Reading

Target’s Union Avoidance Video Is Worth Watching

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB

You might wonder why certain employers aren’t unionized.  There are many factors, of course, but one of them is a keen awareness by the employer of the risks that are out there. Target is one of those employers. Earlier this week, Gawker acquired one of the videos that Target uses to educate its workforce on… Continue Reading

Don’t Look Now But Something Unusual Happened at the NLRB

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB

Today’s post comes courtesy of my colleague Jarad Lucan who weaves baseball and labor law into a single post.  Well, baseball, labor law and Wal-mart.  And he reminds us that the National Labor Relations Board still has the ability to surprise…. Read on. With spring training just around the corner, I’m reminded of one of… Continue Reading

Public Sector Focus: The Perils, Again, of Arbitration and “Just Cause” Dismissals

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB

We’re just a few weeks away from my firm’s Public Sector legal update.  (If you haven’t signed up yet, do so now because it’s getting close to capacity!) So it seems appropriate to bring up a sore point for some: Arbitration Decisions That Leave You Scratching Your Head. Today, I’ve asked my colleagues Saranne Murray… Continue Reading

ABA Adopts Principles of Model Business Policies on Labor Trafficking & Child Labor

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

As I’ve highlighted before, I’m fortunate to serve as a delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, which meets twice a year. I was less fortunate that the Midyear Meeting this year was in Chicago, which was even colder and snowier than Connecticut. At Monday’s House meeting, there were several resolutions passed. The… Continue Reading