Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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The DC Circuit held that substantial evidence supported the Board's determination that petitioners violated Sections 8(a)(1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1), (5), when they refused to recognize the Union that represented Island's collective bargaining unit as the representative of Verde's workers, and when they failed to apply the terms of Island's collective bargaining agreement to Verde. In this case, the Board determined that Verde was not a separate and independent employer, but merely Island's alter ego. Furthermore, Island's insistence that the Union renounce any present or future claim to represent workers at Verde violated the Act. Therefore, the court denied the petitions for review and granted the Board's cross-application for enforcement. View "Island Architectural Woodwork v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit granted a petition seeking review of the Board's determination that the issuance of a letter seeking union dues from employees of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hawaii, who formally declined full membership in the union, was not an unfair labor practice. The court held that the Board's determination, that the letter was an obvious mistake and no reasonable employee reading it would have felt pressured to pay the demanded full union membership dues, was legally unsupportable on the record. In this case, the letter demanded payment from individuals the union knew had rejected full membership, and it simultaneously initiated the garnishment process to collect the full dues. Therefore, the letter reasonably tended to coerce or restrain the objecting Hyatt employees in the exercise of their statutory right to limit their association with the union. The court vacated the Board's decision and remanded for further proceedings. View "Tamosiunas v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit granted the Company's petition for review challenging the Board's decision holding that the relationship between the Union and the Company was governed by Section 9(a), rather than Section 8(f), of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 159(a), 158(f). The court held that the record lacked evidence either confirming or controverting majority support. The court explained that the Board must identify something more than truth-challenged form language before it can confer exclusive bargaining rights on a union under Section 9(a). The court also held that the Board's decision was arbitrary and capricious because it made demonstrably untrustworthy contractual language the be-all and end-all of Section 9(a) status. View "Colorado Fire Sprinkler, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied ILWU's petition for review of the Board's decision and order concluding that an employer was obligated to bargain with IAM over the termination of PMMC's unit employees and that the employer's recognition of ILWU was unlawful. The court held that the employer was required to bargain over its decision to shut down PMMC's operations and transfer them to PCMC; the employer's decision to close PMMC was based primarily on labor costs and thus it had an obligation to bargain under Sections 8(a)(5) and (d) of the National Labor Relations Act; and when PCMC/PMMC refused IAM's bargaining request and unilaterally terminated its recognition of the Union, it breached that obligation. The court also held that substantial evidence supported the Board's conclusion that the M&R employees at the Oakland and Tacoma ports were not part of ILWU's West Coast-wide bargaining unit and the employer's duty to bargain with the existing IAM bargaining unit was not extinguished by virtue of the accretion doctrine. Therefore, IAM continued as the appropriate bargaining representative for the M&R mechanics and ILWU violated Sections 8(b)(1)(A) and (2) when it accepted recognition from the employer. View "International Longshore & Warehouse Union v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit granted Tramont's petition for review in part, remanding for the Board to provide an explanation of the legal standard it applied when determining which subjects of mandatory bargaining were displaced by a successor's unilaterally imposed employment terms pursuant to National Labor Relations Board v. Burns International Security Services, Inc. The court denied the petition for review in all other respects. In this case, Tramont opted to exercise the right afforded certain successor employers under Burns to unilaterally set the rehired workers' initial terms and conditions of employment pending the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement. Tramont set out these initial terms in an employee handbook and argued that the provision in the employee handbook had reserved the company's right to implement layoffs and thus relieved it of its bargaining duty. View "Tramont Manufacturing, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenged the Board's finding that it violated the unilateral change doctrine and the duty to provide relevant information during negotiations with its employees' bargaining representatives, SEIU, 121RN, and UHW. At issue in this appeal were the unfair labor practice charges filed by 121RN. The DC Circuit agreed with the Board that petitioner breached its duty to bargain when it unilaterally terminated employee anniversary step increases after the expiration of the parties' agreement. The court also held that the Board's conclusion that 121RN had no duty to provide any further explanation to justify the relevance of its employee health care program information requests was supported by substantial evidence. View "Prime Healthcare Services-Encino LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment against plaintiff in an action alleging that his supervisors at the EPA discriminated against him because of his age, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621–634. The court held that there was no excuse for plaintiff's noncompliance with an EEOC regulation requiring a federal employee to contact a counselor within 45 days of the date of the matter alleged to be discriminatory. In regard to plaintiff's timely claims of age discrimination, the court held that he failed to establish that he suffered an adverse employment action where each of his claims did not cause objectively tangible harm of the sort that would render them adverse employment actions. In regard to the retaliation claims, the court held that plaintiff failed to show a causal connection between the reassignment of his agents and his protected activities. View "Drielak v. Pruitt" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied a petition for review of the Board's finding that Local 58's policy on resignation and revocation of dues-deduction authorization was an unlawful restriction on its members' statutory rights. Rather, the court held that the Board's determination that Local 58's policy unlawfully restricted its members' rights was reasonable, in part because the Board reaffirmed that all procedural requirements were not barred. The court held that where the Board reasonably construed its precedents in concluding that Local 58's policy restricted members' rights to resign, it was not required under Scofield v. NLRB, 394 U.S. 423, 429 (1969), to weigh Local 58's interest. View "Local 58 v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied StaffCo's petition for review of the Board's order finding that it violated section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act by unilaterally discontinuing contributions to a Union pension plan upon the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. The court rejected StaffCo's defense that the Union expressly waived its right to bargain as to pension contributions, the Union impliedly waived its right to bargain by failing to diligently request bargaining; and it was impossible for StaffCo to continue making contributions because the pension plan would not have accepted the payments. Rather, the court held that the Board's findings were supported by substantial evidence where StaffCo did not deny that by failing to make pension contributions, it failed to meet its status quo obligations. View "StaffCo of Brooklyn, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Company petitioned for partial review of the Board's finding that it violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act. At issue was whether the Board's finding that a dancer was discharged for engaging in protected concerted activity was supported by substantial evidence in the record considered as a whole. The DC Circuit held that, based on the current record, how the Board reconciled its conclusion on pretext and the credibility finding was unclear. Accordingly, the court remanded for clarification by the Board of its treatment of the ALJ's credibility finding and the Company's evidence that the contract decisions were non-pretextual. The court otherwise denied the petition for review save for the issues the Board requested to be remanded. View "David Saxe Productions, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law