Contributors

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Board Updates Considerations for Directing Mail-Ballot Elections

Today, the Board issued a decision in Starbucks Corporation, updating the considerations that guide Regional Directors in exercising their discretion in determining whether an election should be conducted by mail ballot, as opposed to an in-person manual-ballot election, due to COVID-19-related conditions. The decision, based on an election held in a Starbucks coffee shop in Seattle, modified one of the six factors in the Board’s 2020 decision in Aspirus Keweenaw. Previously, Aspirus factor 2 permitted Regional Directors the discretion to direct mail-ballot elections based on either a recent increase in new confirmed COVID-19 cases or recent testing positivity rates in the county encompassing the employer’s facility, using data collected primarily by state and local governments. Today’s decision changes factor 2, which now allows Regional Directors the discretion to order a mail-ballot election in communities where the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has determined that the risk of COVID-19 transmission in a particular community is “high,” based on the CDC’s county-based community level tracker. The remaining five factors of Aspirus remain the same. The Board decided to apply this latest Starbucks decision prospectively only, thus leaving undisturbed the mail-ballot election conducted in this case and other previously ordered mail-ballot elections. Accordingly, the Region will now proceed to open and count the ballots, which have been held pending this decision, to determine the employees’ wishes regarding union representation. “State and local governments often no longer provide the COVID-19 data in the manner that they did when the 2020 Aspirus decision was issued. Using the CDC’s tracker instead will allow Regional Directors to easily and consistently evaluate the safety of conducting in-person elections, while minimizing delay caused by disputes over the appropriate interpretation and application of COVID-19 data,” said Chairman Lauren McFerran. Chairman McFerran was joined by Board Members Wilcox and Prouty in making the update. Members Ring and Kaplan agreed that Aspirus should be revisited, but dissented from the majority’s decision to revise Aspirus without seeking public input. For more information, visit us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

Monday, September 26, 2022

Carla K. Coffman Named Assistant to the Regional Director in NLRB Region 14—St. Louis

Today, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo announced the appointment of Carla K. Coffman as the Assistant to the Regional Director of Region 14. With a Regional Office in St. Louis, Missouri, a Subregional Office in Overland Park, Kansas, and a Resident Office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the staff of Region 14 is responsible for conducting elections, investigating unfair labor practice charges, and protecting the rights of employees throughout areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois. In her new position working in the Overland Park, Kansas office, Ms. Coffman will assist Regional Director Andrea J. Wilkes in the administration and enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act. A Kansas native, Ms. Coffman began her career with the Agency in 1991 as a Clerk-Stenographer (Group Secretary) and a year later was promoted from Secretary to the Regional Attorney. She entered the Bridge Program in 1996 and three years later, she was promoted to the position of Field Examiner. In this capacity, Ms. Coffman regularly handled complex investigations and elections and served as a mentor to many newer agents. In 2019, Ms. Coffman was promoted to the position of Supervisory Field Examiner, where she supervised a team of Field Attorneys and Field Examiners. For more information, visit us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html.

Friday, August 19, 2022

NLRB Region-15 Wins Injunction Requiring Starbucks to Rehire Seven Unlawfully Fired Workers, Post the Court’s Order, and Cease and Desist from Unlawful Activities

On August 18, 2022, U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman of the District Court of Western Tennessee issued an injunction requiring Starbucks to reinstate seven unlawfully fired workers, rescind and expunge unlawful discipline issued to an employee, post the Court’s Order and translations in other languages, and cease and desist from unlawful activities. The injunction was issued based on a petition for temporary injunctive relief filed by Region 15 Regional Director Kathleen McKinney in May. Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act authorizes the National Labor Relations Board to seek injunctions against employers and unions in federal district courts to stop unfair labor practices where, due to the passage of time, the normal Board processes are likely to be inadequate to effectively remedy the alleged violations. The petition explained that, after learning about the organizing effort, Starbucks directed a wide variety of coercive measures at its employees, including: disciplining the employee responsible for starting the campaign; more closely supervising its employees; closing the area of the store on days organizers had previously invited the public and customers to come to show support for the campaign; and removing all pro-union materials from the community bulletin board inside the store, including notes authored by customers expressing support for the employees and their campaign. Then, following increased media coverage and public support for the campaign, Starbucks terminated seven Union activists all on the same day, including five of the six members of the union organizing committee. "Today's federal court decision ordering Starbucks to reinstate the seven unlawfully fired Starbucks workers in Memphis is a crucial step in ensuring that these workers, and all Starbucks workers, can freely exercise their right to join together to improve their working conditions and form a union,” said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “Starbucks, and other employers, should take note that the NLRB will continue to vigorously protect workers’ right to organize without interference from their employer." “I’m proud of my employees for their hard work on this case,” said Region 15-New Orleans Regional Director Kathleen McKinney. “Region 15’s staff is dedicated to effectuating the National Labor Relations Act—including ensuring workers’ ability to freely choose whether or not they want union representation.” A union election was held at the Memphis store at which this unlawful activity occurred. The workers voted for representation by Workers United and the representative was certified on June 15, 2022. The employer must now bargain in good faith with the union. For more information contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com/

Friday, August 12, 2022

Lanita Cravey Named Birmingham, Alabama Resident Officer

August 10, 2022 Today, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo announced the appointment of Lanita Cravey as Resident Officer of the Agency’s Birmingham Resident Office, which reports to the Region 10-Atlanta Regional Office. In her new position, Ms. Cravey will assist Regional Director Lisa Y. Henderson in enforcing the National Labor Relations Act in the 41 counties in north and central Alabama. A native of Alabama, Lanita Cravey graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Thereafter, she joined the United States Navy and received her commission via Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. After military service, Ms. Cravey began working in the Agency’s Birmingham Resident Office in 2004. While working full-time, she earned a Master of Business Administration degree in 2007 from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. In 2009, she was converted to a Labor Management Relations Field Examiner via the Bridge Program. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Erickson C. N. Karmol Named Regional Attorney in Region 7-Detroit

August 10, 2022 Today, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo announced the appointment of Erikson C. N. Karmol as the Regional Attorney of the NLRB Region 7-Detroit. In his new position, Mr. Karmol will assist Regional Director Elizabeth Kerwin in the administration and enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act in Michigan. Mr. Karmol, a Toledo, Ohio native, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1993 and Master of Arts in Labor and Industrial Relations in 1994 from the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Karmol also earned a Professional in Human Resources certification. In 1997, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toledo. That same year, Mr. Karmol began his career with the Agency as a Field Attorney in Region 7. Mr. Karmol received a Labor Fellowship with the Partners of the Americas in 2005. He was promoted to Supervisory Field Attorney in 2006 and promoted to Deputy Regional Attorney in 2008. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Renee McKinney Named Regional Attorney in Region 6-Pittsburgh

July 21, 2022 Today, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo announced the appointment of Renee McKinney as the Regional Attorney of the NLRB Region 6-Pittsburgh. In her new position, Ms. McKinney will assist Regional Director Nancy Wilson in the administration and enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act in parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Ms. McKinney, a Detroit, Michigan native, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree with a concentration in Archives and Records Management from the University of Michigan. She earned a Juris Doctor degree with a certificate in Labor and Employment Law from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. Ms. McKinney began her career at the Board as an Honors Attorney in Headquarters in 2008. She subsequently worked as an attorney in the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch , Region 13 in Chicago, and Region 7 in Detroit. In 2021, Ms. McKinney was selected for a Supervisory Attorney position in Region 6 in Pittsburgh. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com/

Julie Kaufman Named Regional Attorney in NLRB Region 22-Newark

July 21, 2022 Today, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo announced the appointment of Julie Kaufman as the Regional Attorney of the NLRB Region 22-Newark, New Jersey. In her new position, Ms. Kaufman will assist Regional Director Suzanne Sullivan in the administration and enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act in parts of New Jersey. Originally from Glen Cove, New York, Ms. Kaufman graduated in 1985 from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economics and History. In 1988, she received a Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. That same year, Ms. Kaufman began her career with the Agency as a Field Attorney in Region 22. She was promoted to Deputy Regional Attorney in 2009. For more information, contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com/