Articles Tagged with #NLRB

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The Workplace Policy Institute has a comprehensive analysis of possible legislative and regulatory changes to employment law in the coming year. While the full article is certainly worth a read, here is a short summary of some of the most important points.

  • Congress is unlikely to pass any major legislation ahead of the midterms (surprise), as laws such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act continue to be stalled in the House. However, some small immigration reforms, such as new visa rules, could be among changes that could make it through Congress. Enhanced protection for whistleblowers may also be on the agenda.
  • Executive branch agencies will likely pursue an aggressive regulatory agenda, partly under the auspices of President Obama’s income inequality push.
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On December 3, 2013, the 5th Circuit issued an important new decision finding that class action waiver provisions in mandatory arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) are enforceable.  However, in the specific case at bar the court found that the agreement in question was unenforceable because it reasonably could be read to prohibit employees from filing complaints of unfair labor practices with the NLRB.

In the case, the employee and employer entered into an arbitration agreement which provided that arbitration was the exclusive forum for disputes, and that neither party could resort to filing a case in court.  The agreement also contained a class action waiver provision.  The provision provided that: “the arbitrator [would] not have the authority to consolidate the claims of other employees” and would “not have the authority to fashion a proceeding as a class or collective action or to award relief to a group or a class of employees in one arbitration proceeding.”

After his employment ended, the employee and a class of similarly-situated employees attempted to fashion a class-wide arbitration, alleging that they had not received overtime payments due to improper classification under the FLSA.  The employer responded by noting that the arbitration agreement banned such class arbitration attempts, but acknowledged that the employer could proceed on an individual claim if he so chose.  The employee claimed the arbitration agreement violated the NLRA.  A NLRB ALJ found that the arbitration agreement could be interpreted as prohibiting employees from filing unfair labor practice charges, and the NLRB agreed, noting that the agreement illegally prohibited the employee from engaging in concerted activities.

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With the holiday coming up, I wanted to write a quick post

linking to some interesting (and in one case bizarre) labor and employment law

stories. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.