Today, the NLRB issued two landmark cases reversing precedent on the Board’s test for work rules and joint employment. In The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154, the Board reversed a 2004 decision that prior Boards used to find unlawful “a large number of common-sense work rules and requirements that most people would reasonably expect every employer to maintain.” In Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd., 365 NLRB No. 156, the Board overruled the Browning-Ferris joint-employment test and returned to requiring direct control over essential terms and conditions of employment before it will find joint employment status.

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On Monday, December 11, 2017, the Board issued a decision holding that Administrative Law Judges can approve an employer’s offer to settle unfair labor practice charges so long as the settlement offer is “reasonable,” even if the general counsel and charging party object to the settlement.  The case reverses Obama-era precedent that held that an ALJ can approve a settlement only if the settlement provides “complete relief” for every alleged unfair labor practice. That standard made it impractical for employers to settle unfair labor practice charges because employers received no compromise in exchange for foregoing full-blown litigation.

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The newly-appointed NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb issued his list of priorities in Advice Memo 18-02 released December 4, 2017.  The Memo sets forth the “Mandatory Submissions to Advice” – the kinds of cases Regional Directors must submit to the Division of Advice to obtain guidance before issuing a complaint.  The Advice Memo signals the GC’s intent to assist the Board in undoing much of the Obama-era Board’s sweeping changes to federal labor law.  As predicted, many of the priorities focus on the Board’s handbook-related changes, granting employee access to employer email systems, and confidentiality rules in investigations.

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On October 10, Local 100, United Labor Unions filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Dallas Cowboys claiming that it unlawfully threatened players to prevent them from engaged in protected concerted activity.  Earlier this week, Cowboys’ general manager Jerry Jones threatened to bench players who refused to stand for the national anthem.

The charge

On October 3, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 306, dramatically limiting an employer’s right to defend itself against allegations that it retaliated against an employee for making wage claims.  In short, the law makes it far easier for employees and the California Labor Commissioner to obtain injunctive relief in