Under a typical election scenario, a union files an election petition with the Board’s Regional Office, along with a “showing of interest” demonstrating enough employee support (at least 30% of the unit described in the petition) to justify an election. The union also serves the petition on the employer, along with a description of Board procedures, informing parties of their rights and obligations in the process, and a “statement of position” form.Continue Reading Employers Have New Obligations when the Union Demands Voluntary Recognition
On November 5, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), issued an Emergency Temporary Standard to Protect Workers from Coronavirus (ETS). The ETS covers employers with 100 or more employees—firm or company-wide—and provides options for compliance. The ETS requires covered employers to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Alternatively, covered employers may adopt a policy requiring employees to choose between vaccination and regular COVID-19 testing and wearing a face covering at work. The ETS also requires covered employers to provide up to four hours of paid time to workers to get vaccinated and to allow for paid leave to recover from side effects.
Continue Reading Vaccine Mandates May Require Collective Bargaining
On November 16, 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Missouri National Education Association, et al. v. Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, et al., Ferguson-Florissant School District, et al, challenging a circuit court ruling that House Bill 1413 (HB 1413), a public labor union reform law, is unconstitutional in its entirety. The circuit court held that the 2018 law unlawfully discriminates against certain public labor unions representing first responder personnel and infringes on public employees’ fundamental rights to bargain collectively and to choose their own representative, as well as certain First Amendment and equal protection rights. Upon concluding that the unconstitutional provisions dominate “the entirety of the legislative intent to undermine the plaintiff’s fundamental rights,” the circuit court enjoined the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and the Missouri State Board of Mediation (SBM) from implementing and enforcing the provisions of HB 1413. On appeal, the Defendants assert that the right to bargain collectively is not a constitutionally protected fundamental right and deny that the restrictions imposed by HB 1413 abridge public employees’ constitutional rights.
Continue Reading Missouri Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Public Labor Reform Law
When a workforce organizes a union and a labor contract is still months away, human resource issues continue to arise. Often the issue turns on whether the employer has an obligation to bargain with the new union prior to the imposition of workplace discipline. Prior to 2016, under long-settled case law, employers had no statutory…
COVID-19 presents a formidable health and safety challenge to employers, and unionized employers also must address issues in the context of their obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and a collective bargaining agreement. The broad range of issues includes both mandatory subjects of bargaining and business decisions that impact the employees of the bargaining unit. Such issues include health and safety concerns, attendance and staffing issues, wage and hour issues, leave issues, changes in work schedules, layoffs, and temporary reductions in hours or closure of the business to reduce infection rates. Missteps in effectuating these major changes can lead to violations of the NLRA and an increase in the incidence of workers refusing to work. Employer’s ability to navigate these issues successfully requires an understanding of their rights under both the collective bargaining agreement and federal law in this novel situation. Here are some key considerations and proactive measures employers can take to facilitate timely and decisive employment actions.
Continue Reading Labor Relations Issues and COVID-19: Avoiding NLRA Violations through Proactive Measures
Husch Blackwell issued a client legal alert regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit v. NLRB, which resulted in the denial of collective bargaining rights to adjunct faculty members employed by Duquesne University, a religious university. In summary, the court held that the…