On September 30, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) held that employers violate Section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act when they cease dues checkoff after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc., 371 NLRB No. 160 (“Valley Hospital II”). The split decision came on remand from the Ninth Circuit after protracted litigation in federal courts.

Continue Reading NLRB Rules No Unilateral Changes to Dues Checkoff After Contract Expiration

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated the test to be used by its Regional Offices for determining whether purported safety concerns related to COVID-19 justify conducting a union election by mail ballot rather than by an in-person manual election.  In a move most employers view as long overdue, the NLRB will no longer review the 14-day trend in new reported cases and the local testing positivity rate, and will instead look to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Community Risk Tracker which designates counties as having “Low,” “Medium,” or “High” community transmission risk.  Starbucks Corporation, 371 NLRB No. 154 (Sept. 29, 2022).  Under the new test, mail ballots will ordinarily be ordered when the CDC’s tracker shows a “High” community risk level. A level of “Low” or “Medium” would not ordinarily warrant a mail ballot.  The new test should result in an immediate decrease in the number of mail ballot elections directed by the NLRB and a corresponding increase in the number of in-person manual elections.

Continue Reading NLRB Ditches COVID Positivity Rates as Factor Justifying Mail Ballot Elections

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