An employer’s duty to bargain may change during emergency situations, and the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board released a series of case summaries Friday to help employers navigate the exceptions. General Counsel Peter Robb summarized nine Board cases addressing both general public emergencies and emergencies particular to individual employers.  Robb did not make any declarations about how the COVID-19 outbreak and associated response might affect bargaining obligations, but the summarized cases provide good examples of bargaining exceptions that may or may not apply.
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Employers with collective bargaining agreements and union relationships know they generally cannot make unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment.  But in an unprecedented emergency like the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we are all facing, union bargaining obligations may be relaxed, either based on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, or under National Labor Relations Board law.  As employers are forced to make ever more difficult operational decisions in the face of this emerging threat, here are some issues unionized businesses should consider when contemplating major workplace changes.
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February is a great time for employers with New York operations to check on their progress regarding New Year’s resolutions for revising policies, training supervisors and implementing other changes to ensure compliance with recent developments in the law. The changes in employment laws during 2019 provide strong incentives for employers to update their practices. Following are 13 employment law developments that New York employers should make a part of their 2020 “resolutions” and employment practices.
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New York joins a handful of other states when its broad prohibition on employer inquiries into applicants’ prior wage or salary information takes place today, January 6, 2020.  As detailed in our previous alert on this issue, New York previously had expansive pay equity laws in effect for public employers, but the new law expands the prohibition to private employers throughout the state.
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The competing interests of the business community and tipped workers continue to inform public policy decisions about the minimum wage.  We have previously written about increases in the minimum wage on the state, county and municipal level.  Most recently, the cities of Chicago and Denver tackled this issue and joined the many jurisdictions across the country to approve increases to their minimum wage.
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On June 5, 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law Assembly Bill No. 132, which is the first state law to curb pre-employment marijuana drug tests.  The new law has two primary effects: 1) it makes it unlawful for Nevada employers to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the applicant submitted to a screening test and the results of the test indicate the presence of marijuana; and 2) it provides employees who test positive for marijuana with the right to, at their own expense, rebut the original test results by submitting an additional screening test within the first 30 days of employment. 
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