News

HesseMartone Welcomes Morgan Taylor

HesseMartone is pleased to announce that Morgan Taylor has joined the firm as an Attorney.  Morgan will represent management in employment litigation matters in state and federal courts.  She will also advise clients concerning personnel issues and employment agreements.

Prior to joining HesseMartone, Morgan was an associate at Weiss Attorneys at Law where she represented employees and small and mid-sized employers in labor and employment matters.  She attended a dual-degree program at Saint Louis University where she received her Juris Doctorate and MBA.  Morgan also earned a Concentration in Health Law.

Morgan is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois.

HesseMartone is Excited to Welcome Jason Truesdell

HesseMartone is excited to welcome Jason Truesdell as its first Executive Officer. An experienced corporate attorney, Jason will work with the Firm’s management team, attorneys and staff to plan and execute the Firm’s strategic and operational initiatives. He also provides legal services to HesseMartone’s clients in the area of contracts and other transactional matters.

Prior to joining HesseMartone, Jason served as SVP, Partner and Associate Counsel for the multi-national public relations firm, Fleishman-Hillard Inc. In that role, Jason provided legal advice and services to FleishmanHillard’s employees throughout the world regarding the various issues encountered by the firm daily. Jason began his legal career at the medical malpractice and insurance defense firm, Anderson and Gilbert.

Jason is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois.

HesseMartone Congratulates Heather Siddle

HesseMartone attorney, Heather Siddle, will be going in-house for local business, Tom Lange Company. Heather will join Tom Lange Company in February 2018 as its Corporate Counsel/HR Director. Tom Lange Company is a national and international player in the produce industry.

Heather began working for HesseMartone in August of 2014. Her legal practice focused on advising clients and representing management on a wide variety of employment and labor law compliance, management and litigation issues. Her work involved the laws of multiple states and Canada.

We congratulate Heather on her new position and wish her the very best at Tom Lange Company!

HesseMartone Congratulates Will Buchanan

HesseMartone attorney Will Buchanan will cross the river to Belleville, Illinois to serve as an Assistant Attorney General in the General Law Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Buchanan started at HesseMartone in January 2017.  In his practice, he represented employers in employment litigation in federal and state court.  He also worked with management clients in labor arbitrations.  Will regularly appeared in court, defended clients in depositions, and drafted pleadings and motions.

NLRB HITS RESET IN 2018

The last three weeks of 2017 saw more significant action by the National Labor Relations Board than the prior two years. Some of the key actions included:

  1. Joint Employer status again requires actual control.  In its infamous Browning-Ferris Industries decision, the NLRB determined that an employer could be a joint employer of another entity’s employees if it had the potential ability to control the employment of the workers at issue, even if the employer never exercised that control. Fortunately, in December 2017, the NLRB returned to the previous standard and held that an employer is not a joint employer of another entity’s employees unless that employer has actually exercised direct control over the employees in the Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors case.
  2. Micro-units go the way of the dinosaur. In 2011, the NLRB changed its election standard for bargaining units and held that an employer protesting that a potential bargaining unit was too small had to prove that the employees in the small (or “micro”) unit had an “overwhelming community of interest” with any other employees the employer thought should be included. This difficult standard paved the way for unions to organize “micro-units” of employees to get a foot in the door in companies where they couldn’t organize a larger workforce. In the PCC Structurals, Inc. case, the Board returned to the old standard, which allows employers to challenge bargaining units based on the traditional “community of interest test” — making it much easier to thwart so-called “micro-units”.
  3. Return of the Employee Handbook. In Boeing Company, the NLRB rescinded its prior, subjective test for evaluating the validity of employer rules — whether an employee “could reasonably construe” a rule to restrict their rights under the NLRA — and adopted a new test that views facially neutral rules on an objective basis and that created separate categories of rules, including categories for rules that are presumptively lawful (regardless of how employees would subjectively interpret them). For example, under the new rule employers can adopt “no camera” and civility rules, provided that the rules are appropriately written and the employer has a legitimate business interest behind them.
  4. The Quickie Election Rule goes under the microscope. On December 14, 2017, the NLRB requested information from the public concerning whether the expedited election rules should be retained, rejected or modified. This request for comments opens the door for the newly constituted NLRB to revoke or revise the “quickie” election rule.
  5. Management rights are returning. In 2016, the NLRB ruled that an employer was not free to follow past practice and make unilateral changes in the terms or conditions of employment without first bargaining with the union. In Raytheon Network Centric Systems, the NLRB gave employers back their right to make unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment consistent with well-established past practice without bargaining with the union first.

While its predecessor gradually (but radically) altered existing labor law, the current NLRB has moved quickly to hit the “reset” button and return a number of significant rules to their prior interpretation.

Stay tuned, because the Board is probably not done yet…

NLRB Sends Positive Signal to Employers

Over the last nine years, labor unions and employees have received extremely favorable treatment from the National Labor Relations Board. We are slowly getting signals that is about to change. The Board now has a majority of conservative members and the Board’s General Counsel has a management background.

Recently, the Board’s General Counsel issued a memo outlining all of the precedent from the last nine years that he would like to consider changing. The list is extensive and includes such things as: taking protections of the Act away from employees who engage in obscene, vulgar, or highly inappropriate conduct; restoring the validity of many common employer handbook rules; restricting employee and union access to companies’ electronic messaging and computer systems; and backing away from the very liberal joint employer and successorship rulings of the past.

We are very hopeful that we will see a more evenhanded approach from the NLRB in the coming years.

View The General Counsel’s memorandum

HesseMartone Attorneys Present Labor Law Update at AGC of Illinois

HesseMartone attorneys Andy Martone, Heather Siddle, Rick Stewart and Matt Robinson are honored to be presenting an employment and labor law update at Associated General Contractors’ of Illinois’s annual conference in Springfield on Tuesday, December 5. Andy will be presenting an update on the pension withdrawal reform within Central States Pension Fund. Matt and Rick will be updating the members on employment law updates. Heather will be presenting details on “Ban the Box” updates and pregnancy leave requirements in the state.

Edgar County, Illinois Selects HesseMartone for Representation

Edgar County, Illinois has selected Rick Stewart, Managing Principal of HM’s Springfield, Illinois Office, to represent it contract negotiations and interest arbitration with the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council. Rick has more than fifteen years’ experience handling contract negotiations and labor issues in the public sector in Illinois, Missouri, and New York and has developed reputation throughout Illinois for excellence in this area.

You can learn more about Rick here or see him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Vermilion County, Illinois Selects HesseMartone for Representation

Vermilion County, Illinois has selected Rick Stewart, Managing Principal of HM’s Springfield, Illinois Office, to represent it contract negotiations and interest arbitration with the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council. Rick has more than fifteen years’ experience handling contract negotiations and labor issues in the public sector in Illinois, Missouri, and New York and has developed reputation throughout Illinois for excellence in this area.

You can learn more about Rick here or see him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Whiteside County, IL Selects HesseMartone as Special Labor Counsel

Whiteside County, Illinois selected HesseMartone as special labor counsel to handle their labor matters covering multiple collective bargaining agreements. Rick Stewart, Managing Principal of HM’s Springfield, Illinois Office, will serve primary outside labor counsel.

You can learn more about Rick here or see him on LinkedIn and Twitter.