FEDERAL COURT RULES LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CAN RESTRICT UNIONS FROM CHARGING FEES

Just before Thanksgiving, in a unanimous decision the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that local governments can enact right-to-work laws that will apply to private sector businesses and organizations whose labor relations are covered by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). Right-to-Work is shorthand for a law or ordinance that prohibits private sector collective bargaining agreements from making the payment of money to a labor union a condition of employment. The decision, United Autoworkers Union v. Hardin County, Ky., is now the law in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, the states that constitute the Sixth Circuit. Prior to Hardin, the NLRA was interpreted to reserve that right to the state government itself. Organized labor waged a furious, but ultimately futile campaign against the Hardin County law. [More]

NEW FEDERAL OVERTIME RULES BLOCKED; WILL NOT TAKE EFFECT DEC. 1

Yesterday evening, the Honorable Amos L. Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction barring the Obama Administration's implementation of new regulations regarding overtime eligibility for certain workers making less than $47,476 per year. Under the regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Labor in late May, the minimum salary level for executive, administrative, and professional employees to be treated as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime requirements was to be increased from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually). These regulations were slated to take effect December 1, 2016. [More]

When Free Speech Collides with Policies

Is a government employer permitted to discipline an employee for behavior it believes an employee has engaged in? What if that employer is mistaken about said behavior? And what happens when the behavior is potentially constitutionally protected political activity? Unfortunately, these are scenarios that occur more often than many people might believe. [More]