• Posts by Stephen P. Kopstein
    Posts by Stephen P. Kopstein

    Stephen counsels clients on labor relations and litigates labor and employment disputes. Stephen has extensive experience with traditional labor relations and the National Labor Relations Act. Prior to joining Hunton Andrews ...

Time 2 Minute Read

On March 6, 2024, President Biden issued an Executive Order designed to increase participation in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program (“the Program”). The purpose of the Program is to connect job seekers looking to learn new skills with employers looking for qualified workers. 

Time 3 Minute Read

The National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) empowers the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) to “take such affirmative action including reinstatement of employees with or without backpay, as will effectuate the policies of this Act.” 29 U.S.C. § 160(c). For much of the Board’s history, that has generally resulted in Board Orders that involve some combination of notice posting, backpay, and reinstatement.

Time 3 Minute Read

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published proposed enforcement guidance for workplace harassment for public comment on October 2, 2023. The proposed guidance can be found on the EEOC’s website. While the EEOC attempted to provide updated harassment guidance under the Trump administration in 2017, final guidance was never issued and if this new guidance is finalized it would represent the first time the EEOC has updated its workplace harassment guidance in nearly a quarter century.

Time 2 Minute Read

A National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge dismissed the General Counsel’s allegation that the employer violated the National Labor Relations Act by not giving the union representing its employee notice and opportunity to bargain over the discharge of an employee it represented. Starbucks Corp., 02-CA-303077, et. al. (July 24, 2023). In doing so, the Administrative Law Judge teed up the issue for the Board to change the law on appeal. The law at issue is the Board’s prior precedent under Total Security Management Illinois 1, LLC, 364 NLRB 1532 (2016). The Board in Total Security created a new bargaining obligation which employers did not have prior to the case. Under Total Security, discretionary discipline is considered what is known as a “mandatory” subject of bargaining. Specifically, the Board held that prior to imposing serious discretionary discipline, such as a suspension or discharge, an employer must provide notice and opportunity to bargain with a union representing the employee at issue regarding what, if any, discipline to impose. Id. at 1536.

Time 4 Minute Read

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo recently asked the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) to overrule its decision in Caesars Entertainment d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, 368 NLRB No. 143 (2019) (“Rio All-Suites”). The Rio All-Suites Board overruled the Board’s prior decision in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 1050 (2014) (“Purple Communications”), which in turn overruled the Board’s decision in Register Guard, 351 NLRB 1110 (2007). All three cases deal with whether the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) gives employees the right to use an employer’s email systems to engage in union and other protected concerted activities.

Time 6 Minute Read

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the National Labor Relations Board (Board) recently issued a decision which hints that changes might be on the horizon for how the National Labor Relations Act (Act) is applied towards educational institutions with religious affiliations. Saint Leo University Inc., 2023 WL 2212789 (2023). The Board’s assertion of jurisdiction over religious institutions reflects a balancing between the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the rights of an institution’s employees under the Act. University of Great Falls v. NLRB, 278 F.3d 1335, 1343-44 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The test the Board currently applies in determining whether it has jurisdiction over an employer with religious affiliations is found in Bethany College, 369 NLRB No. 98 (2020). General Counsel Abruzzo indicated her interest in replacing the Bethany College standard with a new standard in her Mandatory Submissions to Advice. NLRB Gen. Counsel. Mem. 21-04, at 5 (Aug 12, 2021).

Time 3 Minute Read

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is finally poised to implement a permanent COVID-19 safety standard for healthcare employers, nearly three years after the pandemic first began in the United States.

Time 2 Minute Read

The Fourth Circuit recently issued a significant decision, Williams v. Kincaid, which held that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with gender dysphoria, becoming the first federal circuit in the country to do so.

Time 4 Minute Read

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) announced on June 21, 2022, that it intends to engage in rulemaking with respect to several subjects. One of those which was revealed to be a subject of rulemaking was joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (Act).

Time 4 Minute Read

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) recently indicated an openness to revisiting the independent contractor standard employed by the Board when assessing whether individuals are covered under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).


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