Employment Law

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The NLRB has issued three significant decisions that affect the relationship between unions, em­­ployers and employees. These include new rules for determining what is an appropriate bargaining unit and when employees can vote a union out as their representative. Together, they add to the NLRB’s recent record of ruling in favor of unions and against employers.
Q. How do I know when to classify a worker as a contractor or a true employee?
Q. What is the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule regarding notifying employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act?
Little booths and big customers may not be the best combination. A 290-pound man is suing the Columbus-based White Castle burger chain, claiming he suffered embarrassment and injured his knee when he tried to squeeze into a booth in a restaurant in New York.
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that private-sector employers must post a notice advising employees of their right to join a union. And a new amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law imposes a higher burden on employers that assert that accommodating an employee’s or pros­­pective employee’s religious observance or practice would constitute an “undue hardship.”
An administrative law judge has ruled that Norfolk Southern Rail­way must pay a former employee $122,199 in compensatory and punitive damages after it violated the worker’s rights under whistle-blower provisions of the Federal Railway Safety Act.
Former Cincinnati city employees’ union president Diana Frey has pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzling more than $750,000 from the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE) union.
Don’t give in to the temptation to save money by writing your own arbitration agreements or using a standard template available from many arbitration services. Instead, have your attorney review your organization’s unique needs and draft a custom agreement.
When the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) cited the owners of a Caldwell County gran­ite mine for 103 safety violations, the company didn’t contest the resulting fines. But they didn’t pay them either, and now the MSHA is suing to collect.

Employers may be sold on the advantages of arbitration over litigation and want to give the proc­ess a try. But if they don’t do it just right, chances are they’ll end up spending more time and money. That’s because employees may go to court to challenge an employer’s right to arbitration, adding what amounts to a second lawsuit to the underlying complaint.