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No Overtime Pay for Union Organizer Playing with "Rats"

Union Inflatable RatIn a stunning decision, a Federal Court denied overtime claims of a salaried union organizer for the Laborers Union in New York City.

The organizer normally would spend his time trying to persuade non-union employees to sign union cards to organize their employer. Part of his duty was running picket lines. And typical with any picket line over the last 20 years, there was an inflatable rat on the picket line maybe 15 to 20 feet tall. This gentleman, Mr. Krupinski, argued that any time he spent setting up, operating or disassembling inflatable rats involved manual labor and therefore was above and beyond his normal exempt status as a paid organizer. The Court threw this out quickly concluding that even though he might have done some manual labor, it did not per se defeat his normal “exempt” status. The Court concluded actually, that by his “interfacing with non-union workers, he engaged in a form of marketing and public outreach, which disqualified him from overtime eligibility." Read More ›

Categories: Overtime, Union

Union Gets Slammed on Facebook

In a consistent pattern of protecting employees' right to speak out on Facebook without consequence, usually against the players, the NLRB in a recent case against Laborers' Union Local 91, held that a union member who went on Facebook to complain about a political endorsement by the union as well as a change in apprenticeship policies was totally protected by the National Labor Relations Act Section 7. Moreover, in that case, after the employee's ranting on Facebook, he was brought up on charges by the head of the union as well as removed from the union's "out of work list" thereby precluding him from getting work. While eventually the International Union ordered the local union to take back its punishment, the NLRB still got involved and ruled that a Facebook posting chiding union's leadership was "protected concerted activity" under the NLRB Act, and the angry union member had a right to make common cause on behalf of his fellow union members.

Finally, a pro-employee decision from the NLRB which slams the union for a change. 

Categories: National Labor Relations Board, Union

Don't Touch My Button!

AT&T buildingIn a brand new decision by the National Labor Relations Board the Federal Government ruled that it was unlawful for AT&T to tell its union employees to stop wearing a button on their uniforms that AT&T considered profane and offensive. The buttons said "WTF AT&T." The Union argued that WTF was not profane but actually meant "where is the fairness," even though "where is the fairness" was published in the smallest possible lettering at the bottom of the button. The NLRB ruled the employees could continue to wear these buttons.  Read More ›

Categories: First Amendment, National Labor Relations Board, News & Events

It's Okay to Slander Your Boss (?)

In another anti-employer ruling last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld an NLRB ruling that had struck down a non-disparagement rule Quicken Loans had in its handbook. The non-disparagement rule said employees could not "publicly criticize, ridicule, disparage or defame the company or its product services policies, directors, officers, shareholders, employees." In short, the company that has been paying employees was asking them to not hurt the hand that feeds them.  Read More ›

Categories: Employee Handbook, National Labor Relations Board

NLRB Makes it Illegal to Ban Personal Business on Company Time!

In a stunning new decision last week by the National Labor Relations Board the anti-business agenda on the current Obama dominated National Labor Relations Board has turned the business model of employers and employees on its head. According to a case called Casino Pauma, it is unlawful for an employer in its employee handbook to have a rule that prohibits employees from conducting "personal business" on company property and "while at work." Does this make any sense? Are employees supposed to be paid by the employer for doing their own business instead of the employer's business? Read More ›

Categories: Employee Handbook, National Labor Relations Board, News & Events

Why Should the Employer Pay for the Union's Cost to Bargain a Union Contract?

Union ContractIn a new stunning National Labor Relations Board case, the Obama appointed NLRB has gone another step towards removing all rights of businesses to run their business in a profitable and lawful way. In a case called Camelot Terrace, the NLRB enforced by a federal court, held that because in the NLRB's mind the employer "didn't properly" bargain with the union in order to get a fair contract, the employer somehow engaged in "bad faith bargaining." "Bad faith bargaining" has never been an NLRB concept applied to hard bargaining when one or the other side tries as hard as possible, lawfully, to get the best deal for its side of the bargaining table.  Read More ›

Categories: National Labor Relations Board, Union

Why Do I Owe the Union Pension Fund More than my Company is Worth?

Many unionized employers participate in what are known as "multi-employer pension plans," also referred to as “Taft-Hartley plans.” These are collectively bargained plans maintained and contributed to by more than one employer, typically within the same or related industries such as manufacturing, trucking and entertainment.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) estimates that approximately 10 million Americans are covered by multi-employer pensions. There has been a good deal of controversy surrounding multi-employer pensions since Congress amended the pension law in December 2014 to allow companies to cut back not only active workers’ plans, but also those of retirees. The PBGC has been warning in recent years that approximately 10 percent of participants are in severely troubled plans. Read More ›

Categories: Pension, Union

Government Overtime Changes Will Hurt Employees

Working LateThe law of unintended consequences by the do-gooders in Washington may seriously harm the very employees they wanted to help by changing an 80-year Federal Labor Law system for overtime hours and compensation.

The old salary threshold rules exempted employees with annual earnings of $23,660; if you earn that much annually, an employer does not have to pay you overtime. Now, the proposed changes jump that amount to $50,440 annually. Additionally, annual automatic increases to the $50,440 number are scheduled to take place in the future. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Overtime, Wage and Hour

Are $10 Big Macs Coming to a Restaurant Near You Soon?

According to the National news media over the last 72 hours, California is on its way to a $15 an hour minimum wage by the year 2022. That would give California the nation's highest minimum pay wage. Currently the wage in California is already very high at $10 an hour. While it is not yet law, the Democratic Party which is in control of the Governor's Mansion as well as the legislature, probably has enough votes to get it passed. What does that mean?  Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Wage and Hour

Will You Lose Your Labor Lawyer?

HandshakeThe Department of Labor issued its long dreaded "persuader" regulation that seeks to intimidate businesses and their labor counsel from working with each other in the future. In short, any labor lawyer who is engaged to help a company deal with union organizing or other union issues now may have to file, (under threat of potential criminal sanctions for failing to file), detailed information about the nature and cost of legal representation. Similarly, employers will have to file documents with the Department of Labor detailing who they retained, what they did, and how much they were paid. In addition, that information will probably be available on the Department of Labor website.  Read More ›

Categories: Department of Labor, News & Events, Regulations, Union