November 2013
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We are pleased to bring you our new and improved Workplace Chronicle.  We hope you find it informative and useful for your business.
President Obama Announces "fix" of Insurance Policy Cancellations

By:  Daniel G. Cohen


On November 14, less than a week after his apology for misleading the nation that if you like your health care plan you can keep it, President Obama announced that those individuals who had their insurance policies cancelled can now keep those plans for one more year even if they don't meet the requirements of the ACA. Of course, this move raises serious questions. There is the immediate question whether the White House has the authority to do this rather than Congress. This also raises questions whether this can even be done logistically at such a late date and whether this will drive the price of insurance even higher, which is what the insurance industry has predicted. Just how this plays out is yet to be determined, but it definitely complicates an already confusing state of affairs.

The NLRB's Tentacles Reach
 the Non-Union Workforce

By:  Daniel G. Cohen


Although most business owners, labor relations and human resource professionals are fully aware that Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the right to organize, to form, join, or assist unions and to bargain collectively, many do not appreciate that Section 7 also gives employees the right "to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection."  This language has been the vehicle by which the NLRB has extended the Act's reach well beyond unionized workplaces and union organizing activity.  In the past year, we have seen an aggressive interpretation of Section 7 by the Board and a disturbing focus on the non-union workplace. 

ACA Retaliation Claims Receive Little Fanfare

By: Daniel G. Cohen


With 13,000 pages of federal regulations issued by the IRS, DOL and HHS concerning the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act, one would think that employers would have heard more about the anti-retaliation provisions of the ACA, 29 U.S.C.218c. Interestingly enough, one could have read all 13,000 pages of the regulations and still missed any meaningful discussion about the ACA "whistleblower" provision. 


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NLRB Erodes Staffing Company Protection Against Union Organizing

By: William E. Pilchak

A political football that depends on which party is in office explains why so few staffing companies are unionized. It also explains why workforces made up of staffing company "temps" and customer employees, such as auto-industry designers, are so frequently union-free in a heavily unionized environment. For decades, the NLRB had held that a proposed bargaining unit where one employer controls wages (i.e., the staffing company) and another - possibly joint employer- controls other terms and conditions, such as the volume of work or required quality (i.e., the customer) was a multi-employer bargaining unit. Employers may not be compelled to be part of a multi-employer bargaining unit without their express consent. Of course, no employer in their right mind would consent to such a unit unless it welcomed dealing with a union. 
Issue: 1



In This Issue
President Obama Announces "fix" of Insurance Policy Cancellations
The NLRB's Tentacles Reach the Non-Union Workforce
ACA Retaliation Claims Receive Little Fanfare
NLRB Erodes Staffing Company Protection Against Union Organizing



She's Back!

 Rhonda H. Armstrong has rejoined the firm as a Senior Attorney. Ms. Armstrong has represented and counseled management in labor and employment matters since 1997 and has extensive traditional labor experience in union avoidance, organizing drives, strikes, picketing, defending unfair labor practice charges, collective bargaining and grievance administration. She also has significant experience in wage and hour matters, ADA and FMLA administration, administrative charges, compliance audits, litigation avoidance, and drafting contracts, handbooks and policies in an ever more complex workplace.




Pilchak & Cohen Welcomes

La Toya M. Palmer

 La Toya M. Palmer has joined the firm as an associate in the practice of all aspects of labor and employment law, upon completion of a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Gershwin Drain of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.   Ms. Palmer was the Winner of the 2011 American Bar Association National Client Counseling Competition, the Scholarly Writing Editor of the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, the 2012 Ellswrth Graduating Class Distinguished Student Award Winner and the Eugene Krasicky Award Winner. Before law school, Ms. Palmer served in Human Resource Management and Employee Relations positions in the automotive, aerospace, and heavy equipment industries.


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Pilchak & Cohen, P.C.