In an historic development for the financial services industry, a group of employees at a Wells Fargo branch bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico voted this week to join Wells Fargo Workers United, a grassroots labor union backed by the Communications Workers of America. The successful vote marks the first time in memory that employees at a major U.S. bank have elected to unionize. Workers at Wells Fargo branches in California and Florida have also filed for union elections in the past month alone.
Continue Reading Wells Fargo Retail Branch Employees Vote to Join Union

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo recently asked the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) to overrule its decision in Caesars Entertainment d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, 368 NLRB No. 143 (2019) (“Rio All-Suites”). The Rio All-Suites Board overruled the Board’s prior decision in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 1050 (2014) (“Purple Communications”), which in turn overruled the Board’s decision in Register Guard, 351 NLRB 1110 (2007). All three cases deal with whether the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) gives employees the right to use an employer’s email systems to engage in union and other protected concerted activities.
Continue Reading The NLRB is Reviewing Union Access to Employer Email and Electronic Communications Systems

On June 24, 2022, the NLRB sought an order forcing an employer who refused to negotiate with a certified union to pay back wages and benefits to employees that they allegedly could have earned absent the delay in bargaining during the time the employer appealed the NLRB’s certification of the union as the exclusive bargaining representative in federal court.
Continue Reading If Employers Test Union Certification and Lose, Will They Have to Pay?

On April 11, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel urged the Board to revive the long-abandoned Joy Silk doctrine, which has not been in effect in nearly 50 fifty years. 
Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Urges The NLRB To Revive The Joy Silk Doctrine For Union Elections

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) recently indicated an openness to revisiting the independent contractor standard employed by the Board when assessing whether individuals are covered under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).
Continue Reading NLRB Is Looking to Review (Again) Independent Contractors And Who is Covered

The National Labor Relations Board indicated in January that it may reconsider its legal standard for assessing whether employer work rules violate the National Labor Relations Act, and invited amicus briefs on the subject.  Several business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, filed briefs on March 8, 2022 urging the Board to maintain its existing standard under The Boeing Co., 365 NLRB No. 154 (2017).
Continue Reading Business Groups Oppose NLRB’s Efforts to Change Work Rules Standard

Scabby the Rat is a familiar sight in disputes between unions and employers. Scabby, a giant inflatable rat with red eyes, fangs, and claws, is often placed outside the places of business of employers with whom a union has a labor dispute (the “primary” employer).  Recently, the NLRB again addressed the issue of whether such union protests can be directed against a “secondary” neutral employer who does business with the primary employer but who is not party to the underlying labor dispute.
Continue Reading Scabby the Rat, Coming to a Business Near You? It’s Possible.

With the ushering in of a new administration, several changes have quickly taken place at the National Labor Relations Board. Within hours of taking office, the Biden administration removed Trump appointee NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb and replaced him with interim General Counsel Peter Ohr.
Continue Reading Changes Afoot at the NLRB Under the New Administration

On September 20, 2019, the NLRB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to exclude undergraduate and graduate students who perform paid work for private colleges and universities in connection with their studies from the definition of employee under the National Labor Relations Act.  The proposed rule would prevent undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants from unionizing or collectively organizing.
Continue Reading NLRB Issues Proposed Rule That Grad Students Cannot Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has issued the first part of its planned series of revisions to labor union election procedures.  The revisions arrive five years after the Obama-era Board’s controversial 2014 changes that created the so-called “ambush election” procedures.  
Continue Reading NLRB Issues First of Its Proposed Changes to Union Election Rules