NLRB Decision Changes Analysis of Appropriate Bargaining Unit

A recent NLRB decision rendered under the Trump Board changed the process of determining the appropriate bargaining unit petitioned for by a union. The recent case is PCC Structurals. Inc. and International Ass'n of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, 365 NLRB No. 160 (12/15/17). Under the law under the Obama Board – and arguably before that – a union could petition for a unit of virtually any size in an employer's workforce so long as the petitioned for unit was "readily identifiable" as a group based on factors such as job classifications, department, functions, work location, and skills. Not all factors were required for an appropriate unit; just enough to show a community of interest with

Laws Supporting Public Unions Gaining Traction in Light of Anticipated Janus Decision

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that allows unions to avoid being forced to provide the full benefits of membership to bargaining unit members that chose to not pay union dues. While unions will still have to serve all those in the bargaining units they represent, they will not have to provide the full benefits of membership to non-paying employees. This bill was passed while the Supreme Court decision’s in Janus is still pending. Janus threatens to upend 40 years of history allowing public employee unions to require non-members to pay agency fees. If a decision is rendered in Janus that is adverse to public unions, this could result in the prohibition on pub

Gov. Murphy to Sign Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act in April 2018

The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (“Act”) was passed by the Legislature in March of 2018, and is set to be signed by Gov. Murphy. According to NJ.com, the Senate voted 35-0 to pass the bill. The Assembly's vote was 74-2 , with the two “no” votes coming from Assemblymen Michael Patrick Carroll and Assemblyman Jay Webber, both R-Morris. The law had previously been presented to Gov. Christie for signature multiple times, who consistently vetoed the bill. The Act, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) by making it unlawful (with limited exceptions) for an employer to pay an employee who is a member of a protected class less than the rat

Appellate Division Holds that a Worker Who Quits His/her Job When Discharge is Imminent May Still be

By way of background, when an employee leaves his/her job voluntarily and for personal reasons, he/she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. However, the Appellate Division in Cottman v. Bd. of Review, Dkt. No. A-1908-16T2, 2018 N.J. Super. LEXIS 52 (App. Div. March 29, 2018) clarified that rule of law, holding that “when an employee knows that he or she is about to be fired, the employee may quit without becoming ineligible.” In Cottman, a residential counselor at a group home was assigned to the overnight shift when her babysitter quit unexpectedly. She had three children, all with special needs, who required supervision. Her employer had a policy that required her to fi

Appellate Division Issues Two Opinions Addressing Tenure Charges

Newton v. State-Operated School District of the City of Newark, Dkt. No. A-4129-15T1 (App. Div. March 27, 2018) The Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, vacated an arbitration award which terminated a tenured teacher’s employment. The school district appealed, and the Appellate Division affirmed the Law Division’s decision. The tenure charges alleged that the teacher was inefficient, based upon evaluations from the 2012-13 school year through the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. Thus, the school district alleged that it had the required two years of ineffective or partially ineffective evaluations, i.e., for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, required under TEACHNJ to bring i

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