Articles Posted in Labor & Employment Law

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Menorah petitioned for review of the Board's finding that Menorah had violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The DC Circuit set aside the Board's determination that Menorah improperly denied the nurses' requests for union representation in the peer-review-committee hearings: when, as here, employees were not obligated to take part in an investigatory hearing, there was no requirement that they be permitted to bring a union representative if they elect to participate; sustained the Board's decision in all other respects, including the Board's finding that Menorah committed unfair labor practices in denying the union's request for information about the peer-review committee and in maintaining a confidentiality rule barring workers from discussing incidents subject to the committee's oversight; and therefore granted the petition in part and enforced the Board's order in part. View "Midwest Division - MMC, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, an African-American, filed suit against DHS, alleging that the Department's decision to give a promotion for which he was qualified to a Caucasian female employee just four weeks after he had complained of race and age discrimination was unlawful retaliation. The DC Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of his retaliation claim for failure to exhaust remedies, holding that plaintiff expressly raised the non-promotion retaliation claim in his equal employment opportunity complaint. The record at this early procedural juncture showed that plaintiff came forth with sufficient factual allegations and inferences to require, at a minimum, that he be afforded discovery before summary judgment proceedings. Because the record contained a number of plausible factual disputes pertaining to plaintiff's claims of retaliation that could not be resolved on a motion for summary judgment, the court remanded those claims to the district court for further proceedings. View "Coleman v. Duke" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the Department, alleging unlawful race and national origin discrimination under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. The DC Circuit subsequently decided sua sponte to reconsider the case and vacate its prior opinion. The court held that nothing in its Title VII precedent on lateral transfers would bar plaintiff from proceeding to trial and that he had otherwise proffered sufficient evidentiary support to show summary judgment was inappropriate. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Ortiz-Diaz v. HUD" on Justia Law

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Rhino challenged the Board's certification of a proposed unit of employees called "riggers." Rhino argued that the company's other employees were so similar to its riggers that a bargaining unit could not consist solely of the latter. The DC Circuit held that some legitimate basis plainly exists for permitting riggers to form their own unit. In this case, the distinctions between riggers and other Rhino employees—concerning wages, hours, training, supervision, equipment, and physical working conditions—were significant. Therefore, the Board reasonably concluded that such distinctions differentiated the employment interests of Rhino's riggers and non-riggers such that riggers may form their own bargaining unit. The court denied Rhino's petition for review and granted the Board's cross-application for enforcement. View "Rhino Northwest, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against his employer, DHS, alleging race discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment. The district court dismissed the case for failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. The DC Circuit held that attachments to plaintiff's administrative complaint adequately identified his claims alleging a discriminatory performance review and a later suspension. Therefore, these two claims were exhausted and the court reversed the district court's judgment in part. View "Crawford v. Duke" on Justia Law

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Oberthur sought review of the Board's orders and a certification decision where the Board found that Oberthur violated the National Labor Relations Act before the representation election by restricting employee speech and freezing employee wage benefits. The D.C. Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that substantial evidence supported the Board's finding that Oberthur violated section 8(a)(1) of the Act by imposing a discriminatory restriction on union-related speech. Furthermore, substantial evidence supported the Board's finding that Oberthur violated section 8(a)(1) and (3) by freezing wage benefits it had granted to its employees through two separate wage benefit programs. The court rejected Oberthur's objections to the disposition of the representation case. Finally, the court held that Oberthur violated sections 8(a)(1) and (5) by refusing to bargain with the union and denying its information requests following certification. View "Oberthur Technologies of America Corp. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Board applied for enforcement of its finding that CNN's replacement of its unionized contractor with a nonunion, in-house workforce violated the National Labor Relations Act. The D.C. Circuit held that the Board's determination that CNN and TVS were joint employers cannot stand because the Board applied a standard for determining whether companies were joint employers that appeared to be inconsistent with its precedents, without addressing those precedents or explaining why they do not govern. Therefore, the court reversed the Board's finding that CNN was a joint employer with TVS. The court affirmed the Board's remaining three unfair-labor-practice findings that did not depend on CNN's joint-employer status. The court affirmed the Board's application and denial of CNN's cross-petition for review in all other respects. View "NLRB v. CNN America, Inc." on Justia Law

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The D.C. Circuit granted Fred Meyer's petition for review of the Board's holding that Fred Meyer committed various unfair labor practices in its interaction with the Union. The court noted that counsel for Fred Meyer deprived the court of a straightforward disposition by failing to present to the Board arguments regarding the Union representatives' failure to check in. Nevertheless, the inconsistencies in the Board's opinion required the court to remand this matter to the Board to consider whether the union representatives lost the protection of the National Labor Relations Act. In this case, the Board's opinion was more disingenuous than dispositive; it evidenced a complete failure to reasonably reflect upon the information contained in the record and grapple with contrary evidence—disregarding entirely the need for reasoned decisionmaking. View "Fred Meyer Stores, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Commission declined to review an ALJ's decision regarding plaintiff's complaint of unlawful interference with his rights as a miners' representative under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C. 815(c)(1). The DC Circuit denied the petition for review of the Commission's decision. Under the totality of the circumstances, upon applying the Secretary's test and viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the court held that the ALJ properly applied the summary decision standard in concluding that the conduct of a miner for Armstrong Coal did not rise to the level of Section 105(c) interference. Consequently, the court had no occasion to reach the miner's contention that the Mine Act does not provide for a private right of action against non-management miners. View "Wilson v. MSHR" on Justia Law

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Casinos petitioned for review of the Board's order concluding that the casinos violated section 8(a)(1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1), (5), when they refused to bargain with the Union, which represents several non-guard employees of the casinos. The DC Circuit granted the casinos' petitions, denied the Board's cross-applications for enforcement, and vacated the Board's decisions and orders. The court held that, under section 9(b)(3) of the Act, surveillance techs are guards who can be represented only by an all-guard union. The court explained that the techs' day-to-day duties—sensitive ones peculiar to the modern gaming industry—call for them to enforce against coworkers and others the rules that protect the casinos' property and guests. View "Bellagio, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law