This week, the National Labor Relations Board finally came to its senses and adopted the contract coverage test for cases alleging an employer had unlawfully, unilaterally changed employees’ terms and conditions of employment. MV Transportation, Inc. 368 NLRB No. 66 (2019). This week’s decision is likely to change the forum unions select for the enforcement of their labor agreements. Ironically, the decision may compel employers to consider additional bargaining rather than litigation before an arbitrator given there is little opportunity to appeal an adverse arbitration award.

Continue Reading The NLRB Acknowledges The Inevitable And Adopts The Contract Coverage Test

As previously detailed here, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Epic Systems decision established that requiring employees to waive their right to pursue collective or class actions does not violate the National Labor Relations Act’s “catchall” protection—the right to engage in “concerted activity”—and courts must enforce arbitration agreements as written.

The Supreme Court not only confirmed the legality of class action waivers under the Federal Arbitration Act, but it also narrowly construed the NLRA’s catchall provision as focused on the right to organize unions and bargain collectively in the workplace.

The Court’s holding that the right to engage in such “concerted activities” does not guarantee collective or class action procedures underpins a recent NLRB decision concerning issues of first impression: imposing and requiring as a condition for continued employment a new class action waiver rule in response to collective action.

Continue Reading Applying Epic Systems, The NLRB Adopts Employer-Friendly Arbitration Stance

Modern slavery exists today in many forms, including forced labor, involuntary servitude, debt bondage, human trafficking and child labor. According to the Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery
Index, published with input from the United Nations’ International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as of 2016, an estimated 40.3 million men, women and children were trapped in modern slavery, including 24.9 million people who  were victims of forced labor including in global supply chains.

Slavery is, of course, not the only issue affecting global supply chains. As tragically demonstrated by the 2012 fire at the Tazreen Fashions garment factory in Bangladesh that killed at least 111 people, and the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1,130 people and injured more than 2,500 people, substandard and unsafe working conditions in factories in which goods are manufactured by low cost labor can result in the same types of risks, and human misery.

An increasing number of national governments around the world have proposed or enacted legislation to address this issue, thus creating new areas of potential legal exposure to multinational companies. Our article — Global Efforts to Combat Human Rights Abuses in Supply Chains — highlights new regulations around the world protecting human rights, particularly those of laborers, in the context of global supply chains, and recommends ways for multinational companies to examine whether they have obligations to take action under these new laws and become compliant if they do.

Click here to view the article.

In August, the National Labor Relations Board issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to address three rather limited situations involving employee representation issues. These proposed rules follow 70-plus years of experimentation with a hodgepodge of ad hoc one-off decisions, dramatic changes and frequent reversals in the process of enabling employees to exercise their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Read more here.

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In a much anticipated decision, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently ruled in Velo Express, Inc. and Jeannie Edge that misclassifying employees as independent contractors does not violate the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). Continue Reading A Resounding “No”: NLRB Nixes Argument that Misclassification Violates NLRA

We’re thrilled to announce the release of a new edition of The Global Employer: Focus on Global Immigration & Mobility.

This handbook is the go-to resource for in-house counsel, human resource managers and global relocation professionals to identify key mobility issues — ranging from business immigration and compliance, to employment and compensation. It provides strategic guidance and need-to-know information to help employers manage cross-border movement of managers, professionals, trainees and business visitors.

Click here to request a complimentary copy for yourself or your colleagues.

Chicago is the most recent city to adopt a “predictive scheduling” ordinance, the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance.

Effective July 1, 2020, employers subject to the Ordinance must provide advance notice of work schedules to covered employees. If changes are made to the posted schedule, employers must pay additional wages, “predictability pay,” as a penalty. This penalty applies to both increases and reductions of shifts.

Continue Reading New Chicago Ordinance Requiring Advance Notice Of Work Schedules

We’re excited to announce a new article authored by Jim Baker that was published in the Summer 2019 issue of the Benefits Law Journal.

In this article, Jim covers how the dramatic increase in the number of workers who are classified as independent contractors is changing how employers and workers interact, specifically the implications on employee benefit plans that are subject to ERISA.

To read the article, click here.

Ian Goldin, Oxford University Professor and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme, discusses with Baker McKenzie’s Guenther Heckelmann how companies can adapt to rapid globalization and thrive in the age of discovery.

Watch the 5-minute video HERE.

You may have been waiting with bated breath after we reported last month on the possible amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act. Well, at last Governor Pritzker put pen to paper, and the IEPA amendment will officially go into effect on September 29, 2019.

Continue Reading Illinois Becomes Latest To Ban Salary History Inquiries