In light of recent announcements by the National Labor Relations Board about rulemaking initiatives, and favorable comments from Chairman John Ring on the issue, the time may be ripe for the filing and advancement of rulemaking petitions to the NLRB in order to bring more stability and predictability to NLRB law by codifying certain precedents and overturning others through rulemaking.
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The National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) has taken the first step to potentially reshape labor law since the May 21, 2018 Epic Systems case, in which the Supreme Court held that class waivers in arbitration agreements do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).
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Many in the labor community are familiar with the Machinists Union’s long running effort to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina-based 787 Dreamliner manufacturing facility.  After failing in two previous attempts to organize the entire facility, the Union recently won a bid to organize a “micro-unit” limited to a group of flight line technicians and inspectors. 
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The saga continues with regards to the status of a December 2017 NLRB decision that loosened restrictions on employer workplace rules.  As we reported, on December 14, 2017, the NLRB overruled the “reasonably construe” standard for evaluating the validity of employer work rules and replaced it with an evaluation that balances 1) the nature and extent of a rule’s impact on NLRA rights and 2) an employer’s legitimate justifications for the rule.  The new standard is widely-perceived as a victory for employers and indicated the newly-composed NLRB’s intent to revise the law in situations where the previous administration had stretched key legal principles too far, turning the “reasonably construe” standard into a “possibly construe” standard.
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