Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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AFL-CIO petitions D.C. Circuit to compel OSHA to mandate that employers protect workers from COVID-19

May 18, 2020

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (“AFL-CIO”) filed an emergency petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for a writ of mandamus that would compel the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to issue an emergency temporary standard for infectious disease to protect workers from the dangers posed by COVID-19.

District of Alaska rejects employer’s claim for union indemnification for withdrawal liability

April 3, 2020

The United States District Court for the District of Alaska rejected Chicago Bridge & Iron Company’s claim to indemnification for withdrawal liability under the terms of a multi-union collective-bargaining agreement it had negotiated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547 and the Fairbanks Joint Crafts Council, as well as several other unions.

Courts throw out lawsuits contesting the legality of longstanding union-time agreements

March 31, 2020

The United States District Courts for the Northern District of Mississippi and the Western District of Virginia threw out claims that longstanding union-time provisions in collective-bargaining agreements violate Section 302 of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947.

NLRB concludes Mondelez unlawfully discharged New Jersey union activists

March 31, 2020

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) affirmed an administrative law judge’s (“ALJ’s”) determination that Mondelez Global, LLC acted out of anti-union animus in discharging three elected shop stewards of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union, Local 719, including its president, at the Mondelez plant in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, among other violations of the National Labor Relations Act.

Sixth Circuit joins “chorus” of appellate decisions applying unions’ good-faith defense in post-Janus litigation

March 5, 2020

In a pair of decisions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that public-employee unions that acted in good-faith compliance with then-binding Supreme Court precedent, both in collecting mandatory fair-share fees from nonmembers and in expending those fees on collective bargaining activities benefiting members and nonmembers alike, could not be compelled to refund the fees to nonmembers when the precedent was later overturned.

Second Circuit confirms former employees’ right to a remedy under ERISA, opening the door to substantial financial relief

December 23, 2019

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that plan participants in an unlawful retirement plan were permitted to seek a court order reforming the plan to comply with the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and granting them the pension benefits they would have received under that reformed plan.

Seventh Circuit recognizes unions’ good-faith defense in post-Janus litigation

November 6, 2019

In a pair of significant rulings, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that public-employee unions are shielded from paying damages or restitution for fair-share fees collected from nonmembers before the United States Supreme Court decided that those fair-share fees were unconstitutional in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018).

Court grants summary judgment to SEIU unions, holding that unions’ corporate social responsibility campaign did not violate RICO

October 28, 2019

The employer tactic of using the federal RICO statute and its treble-damages provisions to chill robust union-sponsored corporate social responsibility campaigns was dealt a major blow when the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey threw out the claims of a chain of nursing homes against SEIU and two of its locals.

First Circuit rejects constitutional challenge to exclusive representation

October 4, 2019

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a constitutional challenge to a Maine statute providing that, when a majority of employees within a bargaining unit support union representation, the union serves as the exclusive bargaining representative for all employees within the bargaining unit.