Tag Archives: employer legal advocate

The NLRB continues to revisit and rewrite U.S. Labor Law

The NLRB, currently comprised of a decided 3-1 split in favor of organized labor (Liebman, Becker and Pierce, the Democrats v. Hayes, the sole Republican appointee), continues to take opportunities to revisit established labor law and issue questionable decisions with a clear bias in favor of unions and organizing. For instance:

  • It is OK for employees to show up at your home dressed as prisoners. In AT&T Connecticut 356 NLRB No. 118 (March 24, 2011).pdf, the NLRB held that the employer violated the NLRA when it suspended 183 employees who dressed as prisoners to protest a labor dispute with the employer while visiting customer homes. The employees, AT&T technicians, showed up at customer homes in response to service calls wearing white shirts that said “INMATE # ____” on the front, and “Prisoner of AT$T” on the back, with vertical stripes.
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Do you know the status of your workers? The right answer is more important than ever.

On April 28, a multi-disciplinary team of McDonald Hopkins lawyers explored the issue of worker classification – and misclassification – and the impact it can have on your business. With perspectives from tax, employee benefits, business law, and labor and employment attorneys, the panelists discussed the various tests used for distinguishing employees from independent contractors as well as potential liability under the Internal Revenue Code, the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, among others. Panelists also offered tips for avoiding some of the most common mistakes found in employment agreements, benefit plans, and other business records.

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United States Supreme Court enforces class action waiver in arbitration agreement

In a move that could have a significant impact for employers, the United States Supreme Court recently upheld a so-called class action waiver provision in an agreement to arbitrate.  Although the decision occurred in the context of a consumer contract, the implications are likely to be far more wide-ranging.  In particular, employers that require employees to agree to otherwise enforceable arbitration clauses are likely to have those clauses upheld and enforced even if they include a bar to classwide arbitration.

In AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion, AT&T offered a free phone to anyone who signed up for itsThumbnail image for Cellphone-CourtesyOf_www.adigitaldreamer.com.jpg cell phone service.  The contract between AT&T and cell phone service purchasers included a mandatory arbitration clause that barred classwide arbitrations.  Dissatisfied with the fact that AT&T charged sales tax on the “free” phone, cell phone service purchaser Vincent Concepcion joined a purported class action law suit in a California Federal District Court.  AT&T moved to compel one-on-one arbitration under the sales contract.  Both the District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to do so.  The lower courts relied on a California state court decision that held that class arbitration waivers in consumer contracts were unconscionable and, therefore, rendered the arbitration clause unenforceable.

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Is Social Media On Your Mind? The top 5 questions you should be asking

On April 6, attorneys in McDonald Hopkins’ Labor and Employment Practice provided answers to some of the most pressing questions businesses face when dealing with social media. Those questions included:

  1. Isn’t my company better off leaving well enough alone?
  2. How do I protect my company’s brand in the social media world?
  3. Can I discipline employees for engaging in social media activities?
  4. What about privacy rights?
  5. Do I need a social media policy?
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Don’t Forget the Tip! DOL issues new regulations for tipped employees

Not even the United States Department of Labor (DOL) forgets the tip. On April 5, 2011, the DOL amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations for tipped employees. The regulations require employers with tipped employees to take action before the regulations take effect on May 5, 2011. Here are a few “tips” for employers regarding the new regulations:

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The NFL Players on Offense: The NFLPA dissolves and takes the owners to court over lockout

By Brendan Fitzgerald and Miriam Rosen

After weeks of mediation failed to produce a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) has dissolved as a union.   Now playing offense, the NFL players are now taking their labor battle with the NFL to court.

On Friday, March 11, 2011, the NFLPA filed paperwork to dissolve as a union. Running the “dissolution” play frees the players to challenge the lockout in court.

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