In a little-noticed NLRB announcement during April, the Labor Board is seeking input on a union fund raising initiative that has long been deemed illegal under federal labor law, at least since 1947. Unions are arguing that they should be allowed to charge non-members fees for handling grievances involving their employer, even though the union is represen...
On March 9, 2015, Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation making Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state, saying the new law demonstrates that his state is "open for business." Wisconsin joined two other states in enacting a right-to-work law, Indiana and Michigan, as each passed such laws during 2012. Similar bills were introduced in some 20 states last year...
During March, for only the second time in history, both Houses of Congress approved a resolution under the Congressional Review Act disapproving the controversial "quickie" or "ambush" union election rule. The Senate adopted the disapproval resolution of the NLRB action on March 4 by vote of 53-46, and the House passed an additional measure on March 19 by...
In June, a reasonable accommodation issue arose in the religious context in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., 2015 WL 2464053 (June 1, 2015). The Court addressed the interesting question whether the prohibition of refusing to hire an applicant in order to avoid accommodating a religious practice applies only where an applicant has informed the...
Many employers may not realize that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates in some ways the use of toilet facilities at work. There are at least three important issues, the number of toilets, access to toilets, and now, the even more controversial issue of transgender bathroom access. There are OSHA general industry requiremen...
In a case in which Wimberly & Lawson filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Chicken Council, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari and will rule on a case involving the propriety of broad class/collective actions in wage/hour cases where broad back pay remedies are sought. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146. On Monday, June ...
The NLRB "quickie" or "ambush" election rule went into effect on April 14. Its effects are already being seen. The median time interval from the filing of an election petition to the holding of the election has been reduced to 23 days. Specifically, in the case of directed-election cases (as opposed to stipulated elections), the elections took place 23 da...
On June 26, 2015, a narrow majority (5-4) of the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. While some States already had recognized such marriages, the Supreme Court ruled that all States must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the same basis as opposite-sex couples and must recognize the marriages of same...
Without employment status, persons generally cannot organize a union, pursue employment litigation, or have employment taxes taken out of their paychecks.  But unions, plaintiffs’ litigators, and of course the U.S. government, like employment status for tax, enforcement, and other reasons. On July 15 of this year, the U.S. Department of Labor ...
Many employers provide healthcare benefits not only for active employees, but also for retirees.  While pension benefits are normally thought of as vested, by and large employers have a great degree of leeway to design health and welfare plans according to their own wishes.  However, once the welfare plan is written, courts will enforce the term...
In light of the government's effort to provide protected status to transgender persons, and to require employers to honor an individual's choice as to what sex they wish to identify with, one wonders about recent "transracial" issues that arose concerning former NAACP Spokane Chapter President Rachel Dolezal.  Dolezal resigned on June 15 amid controv...

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