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]

USW Working to Redefine Role in Rubber Sector

Marc J. Bloch was recently interviewed by reporter Bruce Meyer, for an article which appeared in Rubber & Plastics News. In this piece, titled, "USW Working to Redefine Role in Rubber Sector," Marc opined that labor unions in mature industries, such as rubber and steel, will have a difficult time remaining relevant in the coming years. Among other thoughts, Marc asserted that, "It's a tough fight for the union. They don't have the leverage any more." [More]

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Joint Employers - New interpretations could mean more employers found liable for FLSA violations

On January 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division ("WHD") issued guidance for businesses where two or more separate entities each have relationships with the same workers. The guidance addresses when businesses will be considered to be joint employers and, therefore, may be jointly liable for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") which governs employer pay practices. The guidance also impacts the calculation of overtime because time worked for separate entities may be added together in order to determine the amount of hours an employee works each week, thus giving rise to potential overtime claims. [More]