Employers Using Lockouts More Frequently

The New York Times reported recently that companies are using lockouts more frequently against their unionized employees to force the employees’ hand in negotiations.  American Crystal Sugar, the nation’s largest sugar beet processor, locked out its 1,300 workers last summer.  That year the company was making record profits, but still demanded that their employees pay

4th Circuit CoA Rules on Attorneys Fees in Unsuccessful Title VII Suit

The EEOC v. Great Steaks, Inc., EEOC accused Great Steaks of subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile work environment.  Although at the start of the case the EEOC asserted its claim on behalf of seven or eight claimants, that number diminished to just one by trial.  After a three-day trial, the jury rendered a verdict

4th Circuit CoA Ruled that Federal Employees are Barred from Bringing Title VII Suits in State Court

In Bullock v. Napolitano, Willie Bullock was a former employee in the federal air marshal program and sued the Department of Homeland Security for racial discrimination under Title VII.  He filed suit in North Carolina superior court and the defendant removed to federal court.  The district court then granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss on sovereign immunity

NLRB Strikes Blow Against Bans on Class Action Arbitrations

The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled in favor of both union and non-union private sector employees on a significant issue concerning workplace litigation.  At issue were mandatory arbitration agreements signed upon employment that force employees to bring claims one by one in front of an arbitrator and prohibit employees joining as a group to arbitrate their

NC COA Addresses Exception to Workers’ Comp Preemption

In Trivette v. Yount the defendant, a middle school principle, had a fire extinguisher removed from a classroom after a student had removed the safety pin and discharged the extinguisher.  The fire extinguisher was brought to the front office to avoid any further incident.  The following day the defendant placed the fire extinguisher on or

Unemployment Benefits Extended in NC

An executive order was issued on Wednesday by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue that will extend long-term unemployment benefits to 25,000 jobless workers in the state.  The federal government pushed back the deadline for extended unemployment benefits to the end of February, but required states to make the change to their systems of calculations and deadlines as well

Recess Appointments Made to NLRB

President Obama this past week appointed three members to the National Labor Relations Board.  They include Sharon Block, who most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs with the US Department of Labor; Terence Flynn, who was Chief Counsel to current NLRB Board Member Brian Hayes, and; Richard Griffin, formerly General Counsel for the International

NLRB to Speed up Unionizing Elections

On December 21, The National Labor Relations Board voted 2-1 in favor of new steps to increase the speed of union elections.  The Board hopes to keep election and campaign time to less than 21 days.  Often, there are long delays to unionizing elections because of legal challenges brought by the employer.  The Board wants