As covered earlier today, the Department of Justice announced last Friday that it will switch over its support in the upcoming Supreme Court case, NLRB v. Murphy Oil, from the National Labor Relations Board to Murphy Oil. The issue in the case, set for the 2017 October term, is whether arbitration agreements with individual employees that ban employees from pursuing employment claims on a class or collective basis (class action waivers) violate the NLRA. Under President Obama, the DOJ wrote an amicus brief in support of the NLRB, which had ruled that such arbitration agreements did indeed violate the NLRA. But, as the DOJ states in its re-filed brief, “after the change in administration, the office reconsidered the issue and has reached the opposite conclusion.” The DOJ now argues that “nothing in the NLRA’s legislative history indicates that Congress intended to bar enforcement of arbitration agreements like those at issue here.” NLRB v. Murphy Oil was consolidated with Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (the 7th Circuit opinion that caused the circuit split), and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris—all three cases received significant attention when their opinions were issued. Whatever the outcome, the case will be a landmark case for employment law.
Up to 2000 of British Airways’s cabin crew employees are preparing to strike from July 1 to 16. The walkout comes after the workers, organized as members of the Unite union, rejected an offer that allegedly withheld bonuses and perks for 1400 cabin crew employees who had gone on a four-day strike earlier in 2017. Unite has said it will pursue legal action against British Airways on behalf of the workers allegedly facing retaliation.
Over 5000 employees of Clark County, NV, which includes Las Vegas, came to finalize three-year labor agreements after several months of bargaining. The workers are represented by Service Employees International Union Local 1107. The two contracts cover supervisory and non-supervisory workers, and include a 2% raise. County commissioners are expected to vote on approving the new contracts tomorrow.
Russian organizers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup disputed a Human Rights Watch report published last Wednesday, which found that at least 17 construction workers had died as a result of brutal work conditions. The chief executive of the World Cup’s local organizing committee responded that the construction sites were under routine inspection, and that the organizing committee had not found conditions akin to those reported by Human Rights Watch.
On Friday, USA Today published an investigative report into the troubling work conditions faced by American truckers. Journalist Brett Murphy covered how some truckers, many of whom are immigrants with minimal English-speaking ability and are thus vulnerable to abuse, work essentially as indentured servants as a result of being misled to take on debt to finance their own trucks.