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Posts by Robert A. Boonin

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Showing 27 posts by Robert A. Boonin.

NLRB Continues to Make Non-Union Employers Nervous

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board issued two more significant decisions reminding employers – unionized and non-unionized alike – that they may indirectly be subject to the National Labor Relations Act in ways previously unrealized. They did so by making it more difficult for employers using contracted staff or buying the assets of unionized employers to avoid either an obligation to bargain with unions representing the staffing company or predecessor’s employees, or even being locked into the terms unions may have had with those employers upon buying the assets of another employer. Read More ›

The New Overtime Regulations Are Now Official

There’s no longer a basis to speculate or read or ignore the rumors. The Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized its changes to the regulations governing who may be exempt from being paid overtime. The changes will still be dramatic in terms of the number of employees impacted, but employers’ worst fears as to what they might contain did not quite materialize. Read More ›

Supreme Court Upholds Sampling in FLSA Cases

On March 22, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, making it easier for plaintiffs to maintain class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, at least in some contexts. Specifically, at least in some donning and doffing contexts, courts may permit plaintiffs to prove their cases through the use of statistical sampling. For a detailed discussion of this case and its impact, as written for the American Bar Association by one of our employment law partners – Robert Boonin, click here.

The Proposed New Overtime Pay Exemption Rules: What's the Latest Scoop

For months, crystal balls have been working on overdrive trying to predict when the Department of Labor will roll-out the final version of the new white collar overtime pay exemption regulations and what will be in those regulations. While there is no way to accurately make these predictions, there have been some official comments recently made about what can be expected, and it’s not too late for employers to prepare for the new regulations even though the details are still uncertain. Read More ›

U.S. Department of Labor Proposal Rewrites Overtime Exemption: Employers Beware!

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a set of proposed regulations that, if they become law, will dramatically alter the way that many employers are required to compensate their employees. Under the proposed regulations, employers would have to greatly increase the pay of lower paid exempt employees in order for them to continue to be treated as exempt. Read More ›

One Month into NLRB’s New Ambush Election Rules: Non-Unionized Employers’ Fears are Realized

Just over a month ago, the NLRB’s new “quickie election rules,” a/k/a “ambush election rules,” went into effect. After only a month, the impact of the new rules already is being felt.

The Courts

First, on the legal front, the challenges to the new rules are not faring well. Two cases have been filed, one in Texas and the other in Washington, D.C. The Texas court has already thrown out the challenge as being without merit. The D.C. case is still pending, but the court has denied a preliminary injunction, which is an indicator of the court’s view as to the strength, or lack thereof, of the challenge. More challenges may surface, but absent a victory somewhere, it appears that the rules are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. The Congressional effort to block the rules via legislation also failed. Read More ›

NLRB Shows Expanded Interest In Nonunion Employers

Please note: This article was first published in Law360 on January 16, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago that the National Labor Relations Board rarely concerned itself with the policies and practices of nonunionized employers, particularly when union activity, such as organizing activity, otherwise was not present in the workplace. Lately, though, the NLRB is applying what were often regarded as virtually dormant legal concepts to the nonunionized workplace. Read More ›

2015 Brings Significant Changes To Wage Laws

A new year brings new state minimum wages….

Though employers always need to be aware of changes in minimum wage laws in the locales where they operate, it seems that a tidal wave of those changes go into effect in states and municipalities across the country each January 1. Those changes, as well as a number of other issues on the horizon, must be in the forefront of employers’ minds as this new year begins. Read More ›

NLRB Adopts “Quickie Election Rules”: Its Threat Was, After All, A Promise

After announcing its intentions in 2011, by a 3-2 vote the NLRB published its final rules to overhaul the way it will handle petitions filed by unions to represent employees.  The NLRB is advertising the new process as a means for “modernizing” and “streamlining” how petitions and representation disputes will be handled.  The employer community views the changes as a blatant attempt to assist unions in their efforts to organize employees. 

The “quickie election rules,” as they are commonly referred to, will shorten the period from when an election petition is filed with the NLRB to when the actual election is to be held from the typical 6 weeks to as few as 2 weeks, provide unions with more access to employees during the campaign period, and limit an employer’s ability to object to an petition.  The new rules will go into effect on April 14, 2015. Read More ›

NLRB Reverses Itself: Employer Email Systems Now Can be Used by Employees for Union-Related Communications.

In 2007, the National Labor Relations Board held in its Register Guard decision (decided 3-2) that an employer was within its right to manage its property and prohibit use of its email systems for non-business related purposes, including union organizing.  Today, in a 3-2 decision, the NLRB took a “180” and held in the Purple Communications case that its earlier decision was wrong and such use is permitted under the National Labor Relations Act.   Read More ›