Barella Quoted on Anticipated Labor Law Changes Under Biden Administration

Society for Human Resource Management

Labor and Employment partner Derek Barella was quoted on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a proposed bill supported by the incoming Biden Administration that could significantly impact labor laws.

Derek said the PRO Act would make it easier to establish that two or more employers are joint employers and would codify many other union-friendly decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Biden Administration is expected to nominate two Democrats to the NLRB within its first year, giving a Democratic majority the opportunity to reverse past Board decisions.

Derek noted these past NLRB decisions, which set standards on various issues that are considered to be more employer- or management-friendly, may be prime targets for reversal by a new Biden Board:

  • Caesars Entertainment. The NLRB overturned Purple Communications and held that employees do not generally have a protected right to use their employers’ email systems for purposes of union-organizing activity.
  • The Boeing Company. The NLRB issued a new standard for evaluating challenges to employee handbook provisions and work rules, overturning a previous standard that held neutral rules were unlawful if an employee could reasonably construe them to interfere with protected rights.
  • Johnson Controls. The NLRB upheld the employer’s right, within 90 days of labor contract expiration, to suspend bargaining and withdraw recognition from the incumbent union based on objective evidence that the union no longer has majority support.

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