Photo of Greg Ripple

Greg Ripple is a Shareholder in Vedder Price’s Chicago office and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment practice area.
Mr. Ripple’s practice focuses on a full spectrum of labor and employment issues ranging from daily consultation on statutory compliance to collective bargaining and traditional labor law issues.

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, the National Labor Board (“NLRB” or “the Board”) issued a pair of decisions—Wendt Corp., 372 NLRB No. 135, and Tecnocap LLC, 372 NLRB No. 136—that highlight the Board’s continued focus on increasing the power of organized labor and limiting employer authority.  The Wendt and Tenocap decisions overturn Raytheon Network Centric Systems, 365 NLRB No. 161, and Mike-Sell Potato Chip Co., 368 NLRB No. 145, which allowed employers to unilaterally change employees’ working conditions (during an initial contract negotiating period or while a new contract is being negotiated) so long as such changes were “similar in kind and degree” to the employer’s past practice (i.e., one that happened with “such regularity and frequency” that workers could expect it to happen again).Continue Reading NLRB Continues to Rewrite the Rules to Limit Employers’ Authority

Today, in perhaps the most significant change in federal labor law in more than 50 years, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) announced a new framework that determines when employers are required to recognize and bargain with a union upon demand, without a representation election. Continue Reading Unionization Upon Demand:NLRB Announces Most Significant Change to Labor Law in 50 Years

On August 2, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) rejected an employer-friendly standard in favor of a modified and significantly less employer-friendly standard when evaluating whether a workplace rule violates the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Stericycle, 372 NLRB No. 113 (2023).  In recent years, the Board’s opinion of what constitutes interference, restraint or coercion under the NLRA has changed depending on who is in the White House or on the Board.  This new ruling confirms the Board’s intention to increase scrutiny of employer’s workplace rules and policies.Continue Reading NLRB to Start Scrutinizing Employer Policies More Closely

The headlines this week have provided striking images of smoke from Canadian wildfires descending on New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities in the United States.  The poor air quality associated with wildfires means more than cancelled sporting events, spoiled beach days, and cancelled flights.  Wildfire smoke can be extremely harmful to the lungs, especially for children, older adults and those with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, chronic heart disease, or diabetes.  According to the American Lung Association, wildfire particle pollution can cause bronchitis, asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes.Continue Reading Canada’s Wildfires Are a Good Reminder of an Employer’s Duty to Provide a Workplace Free of Known Safety and Health Hazards

On Thursday, June 1, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, held that the National Labor Relations Act does not prevent an employer from suing a labor union in state court for alleged intentional destruction of property during a strike.  In Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood. of Teamsters Local Union No. 174, the company filed a lawsuit in state court in Washington alleging that the union coordinated with truck drivers to time their strike so mixed concrete would harden and potentially damage the company’s trucks.  The Washington Supreme Court held that the National Labor Relations Act preempted state law and blocked the lawsuit from proceeding.  The U.S. Supreme Court reversed.Continue Reading Supreme Court Allows Employer to Sue Union. Is that a big deal?

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) continues to expand the scope of remedies available when an employer commits an unfair labor practice under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  On April 20, 2023, the NLRB issued a decision in Noah’s Ark Processors, LLC d/b/a/ WR Reserve, 372 NLRB No. 80 (2023), finding that a Nebraska meat processor bargained in bad faith and unlawfully implemented its last, best, and final offer in the absence of a valid impasse.Continue Reading NLRB Puts Employers On the Hook for Expanded Remedies for Unfair Labor Practices

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) on Monday concluded that employers, absent special circumstances, can no longer enforce neutral uniform or company shirt policies in a manner that  “in any way” prohibits employees from wearing union shirts, hats or other union clothing. In a split decision applying this rule, the NLRB found that the National Labor Relations Act was violated when an employer required employees to wear company t-shirts or all black clothing in its manufacturing facilities in a manner that prohibited them from wearing union shirts.  Tesla, Inc., 371 NLRB No. 131 (Aug. 29, 2022).Continue Reading NLRB Rules Neutral Uniform Policy Improperly Restricts Pro-Union Attire