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Employers Must Saddle Up: Organized Labor Has a New Trojan Horse

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

This past month, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) caught the employer community off guard with an unexpected, union-friendly pronouncement, one that provides labor unions free reign to infiltrate non-union workplaces. On April 5, 2013, OSHA publicly announced [through a letter of interpretation/Standard Interpretation to the United Steelworkers Union dated February 21, 2013, […]

Employers are NOT Required to Notify of Union Rights

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

A federal district court decision has struck down an administrative rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board that would require all private sector employers to notify their employees of the right to join a union. The recent decision held that this rule was not lawful and constituted an unreasonable exercise of administrative rule-making powers […]

Supreme Court to Decide Validity of NLRB Appointments

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

President Obama has asked the United States Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision and hold that the President’s appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was constitutional and proper. These appointments took place in January, 2012 at a time when the Congress was in a recess between sessions of […]

Aggressive Investigation Strategies – EEOC

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws relating to the employment relationship, particularly in the area of discrimination. The EEOC recently issued a new Strategic Enforcement Plan which gives employers a clear indication of what will be the focus of investigations by the EEOC. The EEOC said they have limited funds so they will […]

Employee Personal Devices and Work-Related Risks: Trying to COPE

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

BYOD (short for Bring Your Own Device) policies are all the rage these days. This is understandable given the ostensible BYOD benefits bounced around as conventional wisdom including, but not limited to: (1) organizational cost savings [BYOD proponents claim it’s cheaper for companies if employees purchase their own smart phones]; (2) fostering an environment of […]

Accommodation for Disabled Applicant?

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

We are seeing more and more requests from an applicant to have some type of accommodation for the individual to be considered for a vacant position. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued an informal letter to a public employer outlining the duties of an employer to make an accommodation for an applicant that suffers […]

What’s the Frequency Kenneth: How Often May Employers Solicit Updates from Employees on FMLA Leave?

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

Recently, while paging through a set of “boilerplate,” employer FMLA notification forms, I noticed a field/blank for employers to insert how frequently an employee seeking FMLA leave is to provide updates concerning return-to-work status. Believe it or not, my very next thought was about Dan Rathers’ 1986 mugging and the R.E.M. song Rathers’ mugging later […]

Disabled Employee Must be Considered for Vacant Position

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

Recent action by the United States Supreme Court has clarified the duty of accommodation that an employer must make under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The action of the U.S. Supreme Court was to deny review of a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving United Airlines. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision held […]

Is Coffee My Friend or My Foe?

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

As a labor negotiator, I rely upon coffee to help me through the long days and long evenings that often occur when negotiating a new labor agreement. I have come to hold coffee in highest esteem as my best friend. I recently read that coffee may deter the chemicals that are responsible for memory loss […]

Sorting Out the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace – Forum Provides Answers (and More Questions!)

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

On Thursday evening June 13, I had the pleasure of participating in a public forum sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service entitled, “Preparing for the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace: A View from Wisconsin.” As one of three panelists, I was asked to talk about how employers large and small are preparing […]