Tag Archives: Labor Relations

A Tale of Two Trends

  James Madison groupies rejoice!  All others can share my confusion. Called the “Father of the Constitution,” scholars credit Mr. Madison for his significant role in the fundamental design of the United States Constitution, where power was distributed between the states and the federal government, and power within the federal government was distributed among three … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Rolls Back Aggressive Anti-Manufacturer Handbook Rules

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb issued a June 6 memorandum outlining his views on the legality or illegality of handbook rules in light of recent Trump NLRB decisions.  That guidance, which can be found here, gives an overview of Robb’s interpretation of the law. Robb’s guidance represents a radical shift away from … Continue Reading

Expanding Limits on Applicant Salary History Questions

Manufacturers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii and Vermont face new limits on the use of an employee’s salary history. The state legislatures in Connecticut and Vermont have both adopted laws banning manufacturers from asking about an applicant’s prior salary.  Those laws are expected to be signed by the Governors of those states and will … Continue Reading

New York Adopts New Tools to Fight Gender-Based Harassment

The New York State Legislature and New York City Council adopted broad new requirements to combat workplace gender-based harassment. New York State’s new obligations were signed into law on April 12 and take effect at different times over the next 180 days. New York City’s new requirements take effect on April 1, 2019. New York … Continue Reading

N.L.R.B. “Joint” Disarray – Why That Matters to Manufacturers

Winston Churchill allegedly once said, “lovers of sausage and public policy should not watch either be made.”  Recent events at the National Labor Relations Board call that apt quote to mind. In its zeal to overturn Obama-era precedent, the Trump N.L.R.B. seems to have stepped right into it – creating confusion and uncertainty for manufacturers … Continue Reading

2018 Employment Law Predictions for Manufacturers

As has been our tradition, January is the time to predict the big developments in the coming year that will impact manufacturers.  In January 2017, notwithstanding my “Lawyer’s Shrug,” I predicted Congress was unlikely to raise the minimum wage, but states and cities would attempt to do so; the National Labor Relations Board would turn … Continue Reading

The Trump N.L.R.B. Gift Giving Season

Acting just days before the term of Chairman Phillip Miscimarra ended on December 16, the National Labor Relations Board issued four decisions overturning landmark cases that expanded employee and labor union protections.  In a single week, the NLRB returns to pre-Obama-Board standards and upends the apple cart.  Each case was decided on a strict, party-line … Continue Reading

New York Paid Family Leave Obligations for Manufacturers

Effective January 1, 2018, employees of manufacturers working in New York State may be eligible for paid family leave.  The NY Paid Family Leave Law (“PFLL”) is both broader than and more narrow than the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.  The PFLL applies to all employees employed by private manufacturers and working in New … Continue Reading

New York City’s Salary History Ban Takes Effect October 31

Effective October 31, 2017, New York City becomes another jurisdiction making it unlawful for manufacturers and other employers to ask most job applicants for information about their prior or current salary, compensation or benefits.  Adopted by the City Council earlier this year, the new law seeks to eliminate wage inequality experienced by women and minorities … Continue Reading

Breaking News: Manufacturers Breathe Relief as Court Strikes Down DOL Overtime Rule

 The United States District Court for the District of Texas issued a broad decision today invalidating the U.S. Department of Labor’s attempt to amend the so-called “White Collar” Exemption by doubling the minimum salary paid to such individuals.  Read the decision here. I have previously posted about the DOL Overtime Rule.  See “Time Running Out … Continue Reading

No “Summer Slow-Down” for Manufacturers – Regulatory Changes Continue

  Readers of this space may recall my recent posts highlighting court and legislative changes to employment laws, regulations and policies affecting manufacturers.  See e.g. “‘Manufacturing’ Law: Courts Also Move to Fill the Void,” “INTERESTING UPDATE: ‘Manufacturing’ Law: Courts Join the States to Fill the Void,” and “The DOL Seeks to Change the Tide.”  While … Continue Reading

INTERESTING UPDATE: “Manufacturing” Law: Courts Join the States to Fill the Void

In a May 16 Blog Post, I reviewed several cases dealing with the question of whether Title VII’s ban on discrimination “because of . . . sex” included a ban on discrimination “because of sexual preferences.”  I summarized three recent decisions by the United States Courts of Appeal – the Eleventh Circuit holding Title VII … Continue Reading

States (and Cities) Rush In Where Congress Fears to Tread

Some manufacturers may interpret the “Epic Fail” of Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act as a sign of stability in the labor and employment landscape.  After all, one thing which the new Administration and Congressional Republicans had in common was their seven-year pledge to repeal “Obamacare.”  When compared to the divergent views on other … Continue Reading

Manufacturing Law Predictions for 2017:  Labor and Employment

As has been our tradition, January is the time to predict the big developments in the coming year which will impact on manufacturers.  Notwithstanding my “Lawyer’s Shrug,” here is my take on 2017. Minimum Wages.  Even though President Trump ran on a populist platform to raise wages for American Workers, I believe it unlikely Congress … Continue Reading

The 2017 “Manufacturers’ Lawyer’s Shrug”

I am a really big fan of the NPR radio show, “Car Talk,” where two Boston auto mechanics took callers’ questions and tried to answer them.  Since the November 8 election, I have freely adapted one of their signature phrases – I call it the “Manufacturers’ Lawyers’ Shrug.”  Basically, when I attend any event and … Continue Reading

Time Running Out for Compliance with New DOL Overtime Regulation

As noted in this space in May, effective December 1, employees earning less than $47,476 per year may no longer be treated as exempt from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  See “New Wage and Hour Requirements for Certain Employees of Manufacturers.”  Those manufacturers which have not yet addressed the issue have a … Continue Reading

Teamsters’ Central States Pension Plan: A Saga Becomes a Nightmare?

We have been watching, warning and posting about the saga of the troubled Central States Pension Plan (“CSPP”).  See The Gift-Giving Season? Three “Game-Changing” Employment Developments Impacting Manufacturers, Teamster Plan to Cut Pensions Presents Significant Issues for Manufacturers, and A Troubling Future Part One:  Teamsters’ Pension Rescue Plan.  Things were bad.  They got worse. Created … Continue Reading

Employment Law Developments for Manufacturers:  Predictably Unpredictable!

Manufacturers should take note of two recent developments in the human resources world.  One expected.  The other not. Frequent readers of this blog may recall that in January I predicted the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) would make good on its goal of updating the “Persuader Rule.” By way of background, the Persuader Rule … Continue Reading

Recent NLRB Decision Gives Manufacturers Another Reason to Update Policies

As I have commented in this space multiple times, under the Obama Administration, government agencies (particularly the U.S. Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board) have given manufacturers great incentives to review and update employment policies in light of an aggressive enforcement environment.  The National Labor Relations Board … Continue Reading

EEOC Retaliation Guidance Ups the Stakes for Manufacturers

I ended my January 21 “employment law predictions” post by writing, “One thing I can count on as these ‘Years of Change’ continue, [I]  expect something unexpected.”  The EEOC made that prediction come true the same day when it published for comment a wholesale revision of its policy guidance on retaliation claims under federal civil … Continue Reading

Never too Late for Some 2016 Employment Predictions!

  While we are still saying “Happy New Year” (I checked and was told that January 21 was still “not too late” to wish good tidings for 2016), and as we get ready for the Great East Coast Blizzard of 2016, I thought it would be a good time to add my own predictions for … Continue Reading

Breaking News: UAW Wins VW Manufacturing Plant Vote in Tennessee

On Friday, the United Auto Workers claimed victory in its long-running efforts to organize the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Reportedly capturing 71 percent of the vote (108 in favor to 44 against), the election victory represents the first successful organizing campaign of this troubled German car manufacturer in the United States.  The victory comes … Continue Reading

Manufacturing a Troubling Future Part Two:  Recent Decision

This is the second of two posts regarding the “troubling” state of multi-employer pension plans.  My October post provided an overview of the recently published Teamsters’ Central States Pension “Rescue Plan” and discussed some of its implications.  This post will review the recent  decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Resilient Floor Covering … Continue Reading

The Background Check Conundrum: “Manufacturing” a Problem (Pun Intended)

I am a longtime advocate of pre-employment criminal background checks.  So I have watched with resigned acceptance as the EEOC, over 100 states and cities across the United States, and other public advocates have fought to limit the use of an applicant’s criminal history in all but limited circumstances.  New York City’s recently enacted “ban … Continue Reading
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