Today’s News & Commentary — June 7, 2016
While the O’Connor settlement awaits approval, Uber has made a series of changes designed to appeal to drivers. The New York Times reports that “drivers can more easily pause ride requests” and that drivers can now be paid instantly. Uber will also start rides two minutes after drivers arrive at a user’s location and work with partners to provide driver tax advice and discounts on rides, auto maintenance, and cellphone data plans.
The NLRB’s standard for determining appropriate bargaining units survived Fifth Circuit scrutiny in a closely-watched case. According to Bloomberg BNA, with its ruling in Macy’s, Inc. v. NLRB, “the Fifth Circuit became the fourth appeals court to enforce NLRB rulings based on the board’s 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision.” Under this standard, “if employees in the proposed unit constitute a readily identifiable group sharing a community of interest…such a finding [of a bargaining unit] can be overcome only if the employer establishes that the proposed unit excludes other workers who share an “overwhelming community of interest” with the employees covered by the union’s petition.”
DeflateGate’s impact off the football field was the subject of an amicus brief filed by 11 labor law and labor relations professors urging the Second Circuit to re-hear the case. As CBS notes, the professors argue that “[NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell “improperly exercised his authority as an arbitrator” in upholding [Tom] Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in DeflateGate. Their brief, like others filed this week, presents Brady and Goodell’s case as one with far-reaching, negative implications for future labor disputes.”
Finally, an adjunct professor writes in The Washington Post that “unionizing adjuncts has done nothing to meaningfully change the contingency nature of adjunct employment,” instead concluding that the “system of adjuncts carrying higher education on their backs needs a complete overhaul, and it will take more than the incremental improvements that union organizing can achieve.”