On June 22, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would speed up the union representation process and provide unions with greater access to employees. As predicted, the NLRB is attempting to accomplish through rulemaking some goals that could not be accomplished when the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") stalled in Congress. The NLRB is accepting comments about its proposed rules until mid-September, and such rules could potentially be adopted shortly thereafter.
By way of background, the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") grants employees the right to join unions and bargain collectively, and the NLRB oversees, among other issues, the union organizing and election process. When a sufficient number of employees sign union authorization cards stating their interest in having a union represent them (this often happens without an employer's knowledge), the union in question will file a petition with the NLRB to have an election, and an election would normally occur between one and two months later.
The most significant effects of the proposed rules are that they would do the following:
Unions, which have long complained that the time between a petition and an election provided employers with an opportunity to implement an anti-union campaign and "coerce" employees to vote against union representation, have applauded the NLRB's proposed rules. On the flip side, a dissenting NLRB member and some congressional opponents have expressed concerns regarding the proposed rules, including that they would infringe upon employers' right to engage in free speech and employees' rights to privacy and free choice.If the proposed rules are adopted, employers would have a limited opportunity to educate employees after an election petition is filed. To be prudent, employers should now evaluate their vulnerability to union organizing, be on the lookout for organizing activity, and consider providing training and disseminating information on a regular basis to ensure that employees have the information they need to evaluate union propaganda and organizing efforts before they sign a union authorization card and/or an election petition is filed.
Day Pitney Alert
Rachel Gonzalez, Mary Rogers and Patrick McCarthy wrote an article "NLRB Eases Organizing of Temporary Workers" for CBIA’s H&R Safety Newsletter on the impact of the recent decision of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
On May 13, Francine Esposito will give an Employment Law Update presentation to the HR Committee of the NJ Bankers Association. She will discuss the latest developments in employment law, including but not limited to paid sick leave requirements, EEOC initiatives, recent case law and pending legislation affecting employers.
On April 13, Day Pitney will hold a CLE that will cover two topics at Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, at 3 Giralda Farms in Madison, New Jersey. Benjamin E. Haglund, John W. Cerreta, Thomas A. Zalewski and Sylvia–Rebecca Gutierrez will teach a course on Contract & Tort Law Update for the Health Care Practitioner. The course will cover contract and tort issues for health care practitioners with special emphasis on genetic testing in tort litigation and potential pitfalls regarding provisions contained in contracts with hospitals, health plans, and suppliers. Theresa Kelly and Rachel Gonzalez will also teach a course on Employment Law, which will cover employment law issues with special emphasis on recent National Labor Relations Board activities and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Francine Esposito and Arielle Sepulveda wrote an article, “Federal Contractors Will Have To Provide Paid Sick Time,” for Pratt’s Government Contracting Law. The article explains the policies federal contractors and subcontractors need to have in place by January 1, 2017 to meet the requirements of a recent Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama for paid sick time. Specifically, federal contractors and subcontractors must allow their employees to earn at least seven days of paid sick time each year if they do not already have policies in place that provide the same amount.
Rachel Gonzalez was mentioned in an article, "Unions set to begin voting on NJ Transit rail contract," in NJ.com. Gonzalez provided an explanation of the approval process concerning union agreements in connection with the NJ Transit rail unions voting on the proposed settlement to avert a strike.
Kate Coffey, Rachel Gonzalez and Peter Wolfson were mentioned in the "New Partners Yearbook 2016" in New Jersey Law Journal. This is the Law Journal's annual yearbook devoted to recognizing both newly promoted partners and newly hired lateral partners at law firms in New Jersey.
Patrick McCarthy was quoted in an article, “Former exec's conviction puts spotlight on safety for high-risk industries; Deadly mine explosion resulted in underwriting rethink by insurers,” in Business Insurance. McCarthy was quoted in connection with the significance of a case, in which Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy Co., was acquitted of all felony charges, but convicted of a misdemeanor conspiracy charge for willfully violating U.S. mine health and safety standards that resulted in a 2010 explosion that killed 29 coal miners in West Virginia.
The Day Pitney alert, "Federal Contractors Must Provide Paid Sick Time in the Future," authored by Francine Esposito and Arielle B. Sepulveda was referenced in a Staffing Industry Analysts article, "New Bill Would 'Ban the Box' for Federal Contractors." In addition to the Fair Chance Act, the article discusses the executive order signed by President Obama that requires federal contractors to provide paid sick time leave. Esposito and Sepulveda noted that the requirement applies to all federal contracts awarded on or after January 1, 2017.
Stamford, Conn., August 24, 2015 - Day Pitney is pleased to announce that 68 attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers ranks lawyers through peer-review surveys, and has been published annually since 1983.