Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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Hawaiian Dredging petitioned for review of the Board's ruling that the company violated Sections 8(a)(3) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(3) and (1), by terminating welders because of their union membership. The DC Circuit granted the petition for review, holding that the Board failed to adequately address record evidence regarding the company's understanding of its twenty-year practice and appeared to have strayed from its precedent. The court denied the Board's cross-application for enforcement and remanded. View "Hawaiian Dredging Construction v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Petitioner sought review of the Board's decision and order finding that the Hospital violated section 8(a)(1) and (a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1), (5), by unilaterally ceasing the payment of longevity-based wage increases to its nurses after the expiration of the parties' collective bargaining agreement (CBA). As a preliminary matter, the DC Circuit rejected the Hospital's claim that all the acts of Director Walsh were ultra vires and his appointment was invalid. On the merits, the court held that the Hospital violated section 8(a)(1) and (a)(5) by unilaterally ceasing the payment of longevity-based wage increases to nurses after the expiration of the parties' collective bargaining agreement. Accordingly, the court denied the Hospital's petition for review and granted the Board's cross-application for enforcement. View "Wilkes-Barre Hospital v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Petitioners filed suit contending that the Board erred in holding that the union did not violate its duty of fair representation when it declined to provide petitioners with the anniversary of the dates when they signed dues-checkoff authorizations over the telephone. The DC Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that the Board reasonably concluded that the union's disputed policy was not arbitrary; the Board reasonably found that the union did not discriminate against petitioners nor acted in bad faith in requiring them to submit written requests in order to receive their authorization dates; and thus the Board did not err in concluding that the union did not breach its duty of fair representation. View "Ruisi v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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When Oak Harbor stopped making contributions to four health benefit and pension trusts, the Union filed unfair labor practice charges. The Board properly concluded that the Union waived its statutory rights to receive and bargain over continued contributions to three of the trusts, because the subscription agreements for those trusts "clearly and unmistakably" authorized Oak Harbor to cease trust contributions upon expiration of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after five days' notice; the Board properly concluded that considering the Union's additional evidence would not have changed its analysis or outcome; there is no merit to the Union's view that a ministerial subscription agreement cannot constitute a valid waiver; the Board reasonably concluded that, at most, there was speculation based on an asserted usual practice to have a subscription agreement that one existed for the fourth trust, but no evidence specific to that trust; the Board properly found there was no evidence that a "mutual mistake" prevented the Union from challenging the cessation of contributions to the fourth trust; and, as to the unilateral act of imposing its medical plan on employees after the strike ended, in some cases economic exigency may justify an employer's unilateral change, but this case was not one of them. Accordingly, the DC Circuit denied the petitions for review and granted the Board's cross-application to enforce its order. View "Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The court affirmed vacatur of an arbitrator's ruling that Amtrak must reinstate an employee Amtrak fired for misconduct, holding that contractual provisions could not "add to nor subtract from" an Inspector General's investigative authority under the Inspector General Act, 5 U.S.C. app. 3 section 8G. In this case, Rule 50 of the collective bargaining agreement stated that the police department had established procedures to govern the conduct and control of interrogatories. The court explained that a federal court, reviewing an arbitration award, may refuse to enforce contracts that violate law or public policy. Rule 50, as applied to the Amtrak Inspector General, was such a contractual provision and the district court was right in refusing to enforce the arbitrator’s award based on that provision. View "National Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Fraternal Order of Police" on Justia Law

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The court denied Minteq's petition for review and affirmed the Board's finding that the company violated section 8(a)(1) and (5) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1), (5), by failing to afford the employees' union notice or an opportunity to bargain over Minteq's unilateral implementation of the requirement that new employees sign a Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreement (NCCA). The court upheld the Board's determination that the implementation of the NCCA was a mandatory subject of bargaining, and that it was unlawful for Minteq to unilaterally implement the entire NCCA. The court also concluded that Minteq may not implement the Interference with Relationships or At-Will Employee provisions— regardless of whether they are covered by the collective bargaining agreement—because those provisions independently violated section 8(a)(1) of the Act. View "Minteq International v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Bellagio challenged the Board's decision and order determining that Bellagio violated section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1), when it interfered with employee Gabor Garner's right to have a union representative present during an investigatory meeting; retaliated against him for invoking that right by placing him on "Suspension Pending Investigation" (SPI); unlawfully surveilled Garner after placing him on SPI; and then coercively prevented him from discussing his suspension with other employees. The court concluded that Bellagio did not violate Garner's Weingarten right to Union representation when a supervisor asked Garner to fill out a written statement after the employee had requested a Union representative; Bellagio did not unlawfully retaliate against Garner; Bellagio did not engage in unlawful surveillance; and the finding of unlawful coercion cannot stand. Accordingly, the court granted Bellagio's petition for review and denied the Board's cross-application for enforcement. View "Bellagio, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Allied, a commercial airline fuel service provider, challenged the Board's decision that Allied violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 151 et seq., by failing to recognize and bargain with the Union. The court held that Allied's petition failed to establish jurisdiction under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), 45 U.S.C. 151 et seq.; a constitutionally adequate Board panel's certification of the Union as the employees' representative cured any defect in the Board's earlier order; and substantial evidence supports the Board's statutory-supervisor classifications. The court concluded that the Board's decision was legally correct and supported by substantial evidence. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review and granted the Board's cross-application for enforcement. View "Allied Aviation Service Comp. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Board concluded that Banner unlawfully barred its workers from sharing information about salaries and employee discipline. The Board also determined that Banner unlawfully maintained a categorical policy of asking employees not to discuss certain kinds of human resources investigations. The Board reasoned that such investigative nondisclosure policies may only be applied on a case-by-case basis following a threshold determination that confidentiality was necessary to the particular investigation. Banner petitioned for review. The court concluded that the Board's invalidation of the Confidentiality Agreement was reasonable and supported by substantial evidence. Therefore, the court granted the Board's application for enforcement on this issue. However, because the record lacked substantial evidence that Banner actually maintained a categorical investigative nondisclosure policy, the court granted the petition for review and denied enforcement as to that portion of the Board's Order. View "Banner Health System v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Petitioners, a group of employees, during the period between the expiration of the operative collective bargaining agreement and the commencement of a new one, resigned from their union and sought to revoke their dues-checkoff authorizations. The Board rejected charges that the company and union had committed an unfair labor practice by continuing to check off union dues from petitioners' wages. The court vacated the Board's decision and remanded, explaining that the Board treated the case as a straightforward application of its precedent pertaining to the revocability of dues-checkoff arrangements. The court concluded that the circumstances of this case differed in significant ways from those in the precedent on which the Board relied. Because the Board's decision lacked an explanation of how the outcome of this case could be squared with the outcome of its precedent and governing law, the court could not sustain it. View "Stewart v. NLRB" on Justia Law