Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Tag Archives: union

Is Calling Your Boss “a Nasty Mother******” Protected Activity?

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

My colleague Gary Starr returns today with a decision from the Second Circuit (which covers Connecticut) that may just surprise you. Then again, if you’ve been following this line of reasoning, perhaps not. There are outer limits to insulting speech, but a recent decision seems to indicate that it is really really far out there. The questions up… Continue Reading

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB

Why do we celebrate Labor Day? And should it be celebrated on a Tuesday instead? It’s one of those holidays that we celebrate, but my guess is that most people have no idea on the answer.  But several (many?) years ago, I touched on this on the blog and I thought it would be fun… Continue Reading

Never Mind! Supreme Court Splits on Public Employee Union Fee Case

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in one of the most anticipated cases of the session on whether public employees could be forced to pay fees to a union that they didn’t want to belong to. And in doing so, the court showed what happens in 4-4 splits: Nothing. Well, that’s not entirely accurate:… Continue Reading

Why the NLRB Should Matter To You if You’re Still Union-Free

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

Next week, I will be speaking at the CBIA Annual HR Conference along with my colleague Jarad Lucan about why you should care about the NLRB. Unfortunately, if you don’t already have tickets, it’s sold out. It’s being held at the Radisson in Cromwell, Connecticut and features some great topics for consideration.  But the basic… Continue Reading

Numbers Game? Latest Statistics Show Further Increase in Union Membership in Connecticut

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB

The death of unions has been predicted time and again. Each time a new round of statistics come out, we (me included) try to make some sense of it. Just check out some of my posts from the last several years. In 2008: Are Unions Dying Off? Not Yet, Say New U.S. Department of Labor… Continue Reading

Ch-Ch-Changes? Mandatory Fees for Public Employees At Issue Before the Supreme Court

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

First things first. My favorite David Bowie song is “Heroes” (though I remember really being struck by its use in the 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge). But the Bowie song that comes to mind today for various reasons is “Changes” and how it ties into another big story of the day — an oral argument before… 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

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

State Officials Ask Supreme Court to Rule on Constitutionality of 2002 Layoffs

Posted in Class Actions, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

Last Friday, lawyers representing two government officials petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments over whether former a 2002 state decision to layoff only union personnel violated those employee’s constitutional rights. Back in June 2013, you may recall that the Second Circuit ruled that such layoffs did violate the right of association.  I’ve discussed the… Continue Reading

You Might Have To Pay More Than Minimum Wage To Your Employees

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

So, your employees are all paid at least minimum wage and overtime. You’re good, right? Not necessarily, as a recent column in the Connecticut Law Tribune points out.  You might need to pay a “prevailing” wage — if you have a contract with the State of Connecticut. Indeed, as many companies who do business with… Continue Reading

Breaking: No NLRB Union Posters, Says Appeals Court

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

A while back, the NLRB proposed that all employers would need to put up posters detailing employee rights to form a union.  If employers did not, then the employers could be subjected to an unfair labor practice charge — a serious charge. Implementation of that rule was delayed pending court challenges. This morning, the DC… Continue Reading

Should Private Employers Still Worry About Unions and What Happens at the NLRB?

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

As I indicated a few weeks ago, one of the goals of this blog this year is to stop chasing headlines.   The latest story about the NLRB demonstrates why. Late last month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (which, as you might imagine, only covers Washington D.C.) ruled that recess appointments to the NLRB were invalid,… Continue Reading

Three Weeks Until NLRB Posting Rule Takes Effect

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

Update: The NLRB has announced an indefinite postponement of the rules. See this updated post here.  Another month has passed, and we are now ever closer to the effective date of the NLRB’s new posting rules.  Thus far, many of the legal challenges to the proposed rule have been ineffective, as the Employer Law Report… Continue Reading

An Overview of “Right to Work”

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that I am a big fan of the Office of Legislative Research, a little-known office at the Connecticut General Assembly.  They produce reports, backgrounders and items like that for legislators and release them to the public. As a result, you can get some free research… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: HR & Social Media Podcast, Class Actions, GPS & FMLA, Shadow Cities

Posted in Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

The Dog Days of Summer are officially here. Which means slow news items in the employment law area. Oh sure, there’s the labor unions rewriting their bylaws to get the concession package passed (the equivalent of a mulligan in the Masters).  But with Connecticut’s legislature done for the year and the courts slowing down, there’s… Continue Reading

More About the NLRB’s Proposed Rules on So-Called “Quickie Elections”

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations

This morning, I appeared on Ray Dunaway’s show on WTIC radio (1080 AM) to discuss the NLRB’s new proposed rules on union representation elections.  (A link will be available when it is posted online.) Of course, in 5 minutes, there wasn’t much time to explain everything about it (here’s a summary of the proposals from… Continue Reading

Malloy’s Plan B – Big Cuts to DOL, CHRO, Judicial Branch

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Legislative Developments

The other shoe has dropped. For now. Governor Malloy late today released his official “Plan B” detailing the layoffs expected as a result of the union concession vote. And it’s ugly. It calls for a 15 percent staff reduction at the Department of Labor, 30 percent reduction at the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities,… Continue Reading

Imagine If There’s No CHRO. It’s Not Easy If You Try.

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Legislative Developments

Imagine there’s no ….. A few years ago it would have been unfathomable to be considering life in Connecticut without a Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  After all, it is a necessary step in filing a discrimination complaint in this state. Imagining a Connecticut without the CHRO? No way. But suddenly, dramatically, here we… Continue Reading

Conn. Supreme Court Rejects Hybrid Duty of Fair Representation Claim Without Exhaustion of Administrative Remedy

Posted in Litigation

The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a decision to be officially released next week, has ruled that a municipal employee’s hybrid duty of fair representation claim against his or her union and the employer , must be brought to the State Board of Labor Relations first, and not directly to Superior Court. The case, Piteau v…. Continue Reading

Courant Headline Says Unions Down 17 Percent. Really? Uh, No.

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

UPDATED 2 p.m. About five weeks ago, I wrote about the new Bureau of Labor Statistics report that showed union membership and representation was down in Connecticut in 2010 from 17.1 percent of the overall workforce to 16.7, or in raw numbers from 265,000 workers to 258,000.  But I also noted that compared with 2007 (when… Continue Reading

Another Day. Another Employee Fired Because of Facebook

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

Haven’t we heard this before? A Bourne, Massachusetts firefighter was recently fired for — imagine this — his Facebook posts in which he  "allegedly railed against [a] police officer over some incident, angrily carried on about being forced to work on the Fourth of July holiday and  made a homosexual slur", according to press reports…. Continue Reading

For School Boards, Conn. Supreme Court Clarifies Rules Regarding Dealings with Unions

Posted in Litigation

The Connecticut Supreme Court, in Board of Education v. State Board of Labor Relations, (a decision that will be officially released next week), clarified when it is appropriate for education officials to deal directly with employees and when the union needs to be brought in.  The court adopted federal NLRA principles in doing so. The decision… Continue Reading

History Lesson for Candidates: Recalling Prior State Layoffs and the Seven-Year-Old Lawsuit

Posted in Litigation

At last night’s gubernatorial debate, the issue of potential layoffs of state union workers was a hot topic of conversation.  (See CT News Junkie for a more detailed report.) Each candidate indicated that layoffs weren’t ruled out if elected.   That’s all very well and good, but none of them have mentioned how a prior… Continue Reading