NLRB Dismisses Petition to Unionize Northwestern University Football Players

In January 2014, Northwestern University football players receiving athletic scholarships filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB” or “Board”) seeking to certify the College Athletes Players Association (“CAPA”) as their collective bargaining representative. Northwestern University opposed the players’ petition, arguing, among other things, that the student athletes were not “employees” under […]

National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel Issues Guidance on Employer Policies

Recently, employer policies and agreements have come under much scrutiny from various government agencies.  As has been detailed in a prior Client Alert, the EEOC has been diligently monitoring separation agreements to ensure that the agreements do not, in its view, “discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes.”  Just yesterday, […]

NLRB Announces Stricter Standards for Deferring to Arbitration Awards

When aggrieved employees bring Unfair Labor Practice (“ULP”) charges before the  the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”), the allegations in a given charge may often duplicate grievances that have already been arbitrated, or could be arbitrated, under a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”).  In such circumstances,  the Board will often decline to process a ULP charge and instead […]

The Retirement of Yard-Man

In this time of economic uncertainty and escalating health care costs, many employers are reconsidering promises of retiree medical benefits that were made when costs were not as high.  This issue, particularly as it arises in the context of collective bargaining, has been the subject of lively litigation across the country.  States in the Sixth […]

Looking for Patterns in Performance Evaluations

Most employers expect their managers to complete regular performance evaluations for the staff they supervise, which can be used to track employee progress and provide at least a minimal employment history.  An observer could reasonably ask, however, whether companies derive as much benefit from this process as they assume.  A January 9, 2015 online article […]

The Effect of a Conversation on Political Views

The stereotypical corporate anti-discrimination policy prevents managers and staff from doing or saying anything that would hint at the existence of race, sex, age, religion, or any other protected categories in the workplace, and discourages discussion of such sensitive issues.  Such restrictions are never codified explicitly in the text of these policies, but many people […]

How Research Into Moral Thinking May Affect Management Strategies

A study on people’s moral perceptions in daily life that was reported last fall in the journal Science may bring a fresh perspective to workplace ethics.  As illustrated by the study, people sometimes emphasize very different sets of moral concepts when assessing a situation, and in a way that seems to correlate with their political […]

The NLRB Finalizes Its Controversial “Quickie Election” Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently voted, 3-2, to finalize its 2011 proposed regulations (the so-called “quickie election rules”), which are expected to dramatically change the union representation election process under the National Labor Relations Act.  The final rules, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2014, remain as controversial today as […]

Responsibility and Engagement as Possible Remedies for Workplace Problems

In a series of studies summarized in the July 4, 2014 issue of the journal Science, participants were subjected to electric shocks; afterwards, they agreed that they would be willing to pay money not to be shocked again.  They were then placed in isolation, awake, for 15 minutes, without cell phones, writing instruments, or other […]

NLRB Gives Employees Right to Use Company Email Systems for Union Organizing and Protected Activity

In a development expected by many observers, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled in Purple Communications Inc. that employees have the right to use their company email accounts for protected concerted activity, which may include union organizing.  The ruling reverses a prior holding by the Board from December 2007 that emphasized the employer’s property […]