Articles Posted in Labor & Employment Law

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The DC Circuit denied UPS Ground's petition for review challenging the certification of a union at its Kutztown Pennsylvania distribution facility. The court held that UPS Ground failed to identify a defect in the Board's decision to certify the union where the Board certified an appropriate bargaining unit and reasonably determined that one of the drivers employed at the Kutztown center was an "employee" under the National Labor Relations Act and not a statutory "supervisor" who would be excluded from the Act's protections. The court held that UPS Ground's remaining objections to the application of the Board's rules and regulations all lacked merit. View "UPS Ground Freight, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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USC petitioned for review of the Board's ruling that the full- and part-time non-tenure-track faculty of USC's Roski School of Art and Design exercised no effective control over university policies and, as non-managerial employees, were therefore eligible to join a union. The DC Circuit granted the petition for review in part, holding that the Board's decision, extending the majority status rule in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 N.L.R.B. 1404 (2014), to faculty subgroups, conflicted with N.L.R.B. v. Yeshiva University, 444 U.S. 672 (1980). Because the Board's subgroup majority status rule ran afoul of Yeshiva, and because the court was uncertain whether the Board would have reached the same conclusion absent that rule, the court remanded to the Board for further consideration. View "University of Southern California v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied Novato's petition for review of the Board's decision finding that it committed an unfair labor practice by firing four union organizers two days before a union election. The court held that the Board's findings were supported by substantial evidence and therefore granted the Board's cross-application for enforcement. In this case, the Board determined that the testimony of one of Novato's supervisors should not be credited, and that trial counsel’s cross-examination of the supervisor provided substantial evidence to support that determination. The court found nothing unreasonable in the Board's conclusion that Novato failed to meet its burden of showing it would have fired the four employees notwithstanding its anti-union animus. The court also held that substantial evidence supported the Board's conclusion that another employee was discharged alongside the four employees in order to provide cover for Novato's discriminatory conduct toward those union supporters. Finally, a supervisor's questioning of an employee's union views would have a reasonable tendency to interfere with the employee's rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. View "Novato Healthcare Center v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The right-to-control element of the Board's joint-employer standard has deep roots in the common law. Furthermore, the common law permits consideration of those forms of indirect control that play a relevant part in determining the essential terms and conditions of employment. The DC Circuit affirmed the Board's articulation of the joint-employer test as including consideration of both an employer's reserved right to control and its indirect control over employees' terms and conditions of employment. In this case, the court held that the Board did not confine its consideration of indirect control consistently with common law limitations. Therefore, the court granted the petition for review in part, denied the cross-application for enforcement, dismissed without prejudice the application for enforcement as to Leadpoint, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied a petition for review of the Board's decision affirming an ALJ's conclusion that the College violated the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to provide information requested by a union representing the College's secretarial and clerical employees. The court held that substantial evidence supported the Board's determination that the union had adequate and objective evidence to support a reasonable belief that the requested information was relevant to its pending grievance. Court precedent foreclosed an implied claim that evidence satisfying more than a discovery-type standard was required. The court found the College's claims to the contrary unpersuasive. View "Teachers College, Columbia University v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Project and four individual herders challenged the agencies' 364-day certification period for H-2A visas, which allowed nonimmigrants to enter the country to perform certain agricultural work. The DC Circuit held that the Project's complaint adequately raised a challenge to the Department of Homeland Security's practice of automatically extending "temporary" H-2A petitions for multiple years; the Project adequately preserved its challenge to the Department of Labor's decision in the 2015 Rule to classify herding as "temporary" employment; the 2015 Rule's minimum wage rate for herders was not arbitrary, capricious, or unsupported by the record; and the Project lacked standing to challenge the wage rates set by the already-vacated 2011 Guidance Letter. Accordingly, the court reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Hispanic Affairs Project v. Acosta" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants in an action brought by plaintiff, a former Deputy Counsel, alleging that her termination was the product of discrimination based on her age and sex, in violation of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA). Plaintiff also alleged that Amtrak later retaliated against her for filing her EEO complaint, and that two of its employees aided and abetted those violations. The court held that plaintiff failed to point to record evidence from which a reasonable jury could infer either age or sex discrimination, and the sanction she sought was unwarranted. In this case, it was the Inspector General's prerogative to choose a General Counsel and Deputy Counsel with whom he felt he and his team could communicate clearly and efficiently, and in whom they could repose their trust and confidence; plaintiff's "primary clients" at the OIG all testified they had reservations about whether she was the best person to serve OIG; and they unanimously expressed concern that she was more likely to resist their objectives than to aid them. View "Ranowsky v. National Railroad Passenger Corp." on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Department of Defense in an action brought by plaintiff, a former instructor, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act against the National Defense University's College of International Security Affairs. The court held that the Department failed to provide a consistent and sufficient explanation for plaintiff's discharge, and plaintiff provided evidence that a supervisor directly involved in the decisionmaking process made repeated discriminatory remarks. In this case, a reasonable jury could credit plaintiff's version of events given, inter alia, the evidence that he used to support his prima facie case, the gaps and variations in the College's proffered explanation for the firing, his ultimate replacement by a younger employee, the hiring of several other younger faculty members within the same year as his budgetary termination, and the comments overtly hostile to older employees made by his front-line supervisor who was directly involved in discussions about his termination. View "Steele v. Mattis" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied the hospital's petition for review of the Board's determination that the hospital failed to make a showing that prohibiting the employees' picketing conduct was necessary to avoid disrupting patient care. In this case, the hospital tried to stop employees from displaying picket signs—without any chanting, marching, or obstructing of passage—informing visitors to the facility about an ongoing labor dispute. The court held that the Board's interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was reasonable; the Board's approach permissibly balanced employees' rights to organize against an employer's interests in controlling its property; and the Board was not compelled to adopt a categorical rule that picketing of any kind—including the stationary, nonobstructive holding of a picket sign at issue here—was necessarily more disruptive, and less entitled to the NLRA's protections, than distribution of union literature. View "Capital Medical Center v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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CC1 petitioned for review of the Board's determination that it unlawfully fired several employees who had engaged in work stoppages. The DC Circuit held that there was substantial evidence that one of the discharged employees played no part in a work stoppage. However, the court remanded for further explanation of the Board's conclusion that the striking employees were unlawfully terminated for engaging in protected activity. The court denied the petition in all other respects and granted the Board's cross-application for enforcement. View "CC1 Limited Partnership v. NLRB" on Justia Law