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February 2019 Archives

Breaking News: Minimum Wage in Illinois set to Increase to $15 by 2025

Last week we reported that a new Illinois Minimum Wage law is all but certain to pass before the end of February. A $15 per hour minimum wage bill was introduced and had the support of newly elected governor J.B. Pritzker.

"Shame on You" Strategies

Construction industry unions, particularly Operating Engineers Local 150, continue to use the strategy which we regularly refer to as "rats, banners and street theater". They rely on the 2010 Eliason & Knuth NLRB case which gives unions pretty much a green light to engage in secondary boycotts as long as they are not picketing. That Obama Board decision relied primarily on free speech theories. The normal union strategy is to put up a large rat at the premises of a neutral employer that says something like "Shame on You". In other words, there is disruption and demonstration in front of the neutral employer's premises and the whole objective is to have that neutral stop doing business with the primary. For unions, it is a way around the secondary boycott provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. But, with the new pro-business Board now in place, it is likely that this strategy will have a pretty short life expectancy. We anticipate that once the new Board finds an appropriate case they will overturn Eliason & Knuth and find this type of activity to be an illegal secondary boycott. Below is a picture of a typical Eliason & Knuth scene.

Revisit the "Rat"

The author is fairly certain that a vast number of the readers of this Article have either seen or unfortunately been involved in a case where a union has placed signage and the RAT at an employer's premise to force the employer to "cease doing business with or supplying another employer with raw materials (i.e., stone, sand, gravel, piping, etc.)" with which the union has a labor dispute. The Obama Labor Board (NLRB) has found this type of activity to be "Free Speech" protected by the First Amendment and exempt from the prohibitions of a "Secondary Boycott."

New Prime Loses In Its Attempt To Compel Arbitration In Interstate Trucking Case

On January 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, a case concerning the enforceability of arbitration agreements in the interstate trucking sector of our economy.

Limitation On Age Discrimination Claim

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh (7th) Circuit (applicable to the State of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) issued a far-reaching decision on the basis of an 8 to 4 decision (all twelve justices of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Hearing and Ruling on the case) establishing that job applicants may not bring a claim for unintentional age discrimination under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA) (Kleber v. Care Fusion Corporation decided by Seventh Circuit En Banc Panel January 23, 2019).

Patchwork of Illinois Minimum Wage Laws

Media outlets are reporting that a new Illinois Minimum Wage law is all but certain to pass before the end of February. A $15 per hour minimum wage bill has been introduced and has the support of newly elected governor J.B. Pritzker. Minimum wage laws can be monumentally confusing. The usual principle is supremacy of federal law. The federal law calls for a $7.25 minimum wage. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act has a specific provision that more employee-friendly laws by state or local governments will trump federal law. That is why such a confusing patchwork has been created. Below is a bare-bones summary.

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