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Trump’s Justice Sticks it to Workers

Published May 24th, 2018 -

After the oral argument in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, I wrote that the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court would have to put their thumbs heavily on the scale for the employers to prevail. Sadly, it was no surprise that this is exactly what happened. At one point, Justice Gorsuch asserted that using the National Labor Relations Act and the Norris-LaGuardia Act to limit the scope of t... More »

Today’s News & Commentary — May 24, 2018

Published May 24th, 2018 -

The NFL yesterday announced a new policy punishing players who kneel in protest during the national anthem, drawing fierce condemnation from civil rights advocates and the players’ union. The new policy does allow athletes to stay in locker rooms rather than attending the anthem, in an attempt to push players’ protests off camera. The NFL’s decision may tee up a fight with the players’... More »

Epic Fall Out: The Supreme Court and Concerted Activity

Published May 23rd, 2018 -

In September, we worried that the Trump Administration was using Epic Systems (aka Murphy Oil) to lay the groundwork for curtailing protection of concerted activity outside the union organizing and collective bargaining context.  To our relief, Epic Systems does limited damage to section 7 of the NLRA: the Court refuses to recognize in § 7 a right to class action litigation or class arbitration, b... More »

Today’s News & Commentary — May 23, 2018

Published May 23rd, 2018 -

The Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, NLRB v. Murphy Oil, and Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris continued to generate reactions on Tuesday.  David Leonhardt explained in The New York Times that the ruling makes Corporate America more powerful at the expense of workers and reminded readers that the decision would have gone the other way if not for Senate Republicans’ refusal i... More »


Ninth Circuit Puts the Brakes on Uber Unionization

Published May 23rd, 2018 -

On May 11, the Ninth Circuit dealt a blow to a Seattle city ordinance permitting Lyft and Uber drivers to unionize. However, the court’s ruling was not entirely unfavorable for “gig economy” workers. Lyft and Uber, along with... More »

Today’s News & Commentary — May 22, 2018

Published May 22nd, 2018 -

Workers’ rights took a hit from a split Supreme Court yesterday in a 5-4 decision written by Justice Gorsuch that resolved three cases: Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, NLRB v. Murphy Oil, and Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris.  OnLabor’s Maddy Joseph summarized the court’s decision in an extensive analysis yesterday, writing that More »

Murphy Oil Opinion

Published May 21st, 2018 -

The Supreme Court holds this morning in Murphy Oil that class and collective action bars in arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and are not incompatible with the NLRA.  The majority opinion by Justice Gorsuch is notable for its reading of Section 7 as not protecting recourse to group litigation processes.  Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan d... More »

Today’s News & Commentary — May 21, 2018

Published May 21st, 2018 -

The Editorial Board of the New York Daily News yesterday drew attention to what has been a repeated “pilgrimage” in a stymied search for equal rights and fair treatment: the yearly trip of “some of New York State’s 100,000 field hands to the Capitol” to ask for rights to overtime pay, an unpaid weekly day off, and collective bargaining.  Farmworkers across the state (“dairy workers from Western Ne... More »

Weekend News & Commentary — May 19–20, 2018

Published May 20th, 2018 -

Cornell University violated the National Labor Relations Act in March of 2017, but Cornell Graduate Students United (CGSU) will not receive a unionization revote, an independent arbitrator ruled last week.  In an email sent twenty-four hours prior to the election to unionize 2500 graduate research and teaching assistants, Senior Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Barbara Knuth stated tha... More »

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