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OSHA Safety Consultation : Jun 21st - Has anyone used the OSHA safety consultation service offered? We are trying to improve our compliance and found this resource. It says that it will not increase your chance of being audited, but I am hesitant. Love to hear about others experiences good or bad. Thanks Andy
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Business Continuity Plan : Jun 20th - We plan on updating our BCP and would like to get a molders perspective or a resource to use to formulate a plan to be in compliance with quality systems auditors.
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DOJ Now Supports Enforcement of Employment Arbitration Clause : Jun 19th - The U.S. Justice Department has abruptly reversed course in a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning an employment agreement that restricts employees from participating in class and collective lawsuits, arguing that a mandatory arbitration clause in the agreement does not deprive employees of federally protected rights. Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall acknowledged that the Justice Department’s new pro-employer stance is a direct about face from its prior support for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under the Obama Administration. “[T]his Office previously filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on behalf of the NLRB, defending the Board’s view that agreements of the sort at issue here are unenforceable,” Wall wrote. “After the change in administration, the Office reconsidered the issue and has reached the opposite conclusion.” This is the latest example of the Trump Administration seeking to roll back labor law interpretations adopted under the prior administration. On June 12, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to rescind the Obama Administration’s version of the “Persuader Rule,” which would have broadened requirements on who must file public disclosures related to union organizing campaigns. The revisions were aimed at, among other things, discouraging law firms from being involved in organizational campaigns to avoid such disclosures. On June 16, the Justice Department filed its amicus brief in NLRB v. Murphy Oil as well as two similar private actions, Epic Systems Corp. v Lewis and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, which the Supreme Court is considering in addition to the Murphy Oil case. The issue before the Court is whether arbitration agreements that bar employees from pursuing work-related claims under statutes such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on a collective or class basis violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which protect employees’ rights to organize and to engage in collective bargaining. For the Justice Department, that answer is now a resounding “no.” “Enforcement of plaintiffs’ arbitration agreements would not deprive them of their substantive right under the FLSA to proper wage-and-hour compensation, or any procedural right under the NLRA to invoke whatever class or collective procedures are otherwise available to them,” Wall concluded. “We do not believe that the [NLRB] in its prior unfair-labor-practice proceedings, or the government’s certiorari petition in Murphy Oil, gave adequate weight to the congressional policy favoring enforcement of arbitration agreements that is reflected in the [Federal Arbitration Act].” Even though it has changed its position, the government is not requiring the NLRB to withdraw its petition for Supreme Court review, nor has it suggested the Court dismiss any of the pending cases. Rather, Wall has authorized the NLRB to represent itself in the Supreme Court. If you have any questions on this topic please contact a member of our Labor & Employment Practice Group. Eric Baisden at ebaisden@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4676. Peter Kirsanow at pkirsanow@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4481. Rick Hepp at rhepp@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4657. Adam Primm at aprimm@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4451.
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The Trump's Administration's Softened Tone on a NAFTA "Update" : Jun 19th - The Trump Administration gave Congress official notice on Thursday, May 18, that it plans to renegotiate NAFTA by providing a two-page letter to Congress from the newly confirmed United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer. The letter was required under a law that mandates that the president give Congress at least 90 days’ notice before opening a trade negotiation. The notice is a much scaled-back version of the eight-page draft that Congress received in March, which proposed adding a provision to allow tariffs to be reinstated if a flood of imports threatened to harm a domestic industry. Mexico’s Economy Minister released a statement welcoming the announcement, reaffirming its willingness to update the agreement and continue to regulate trade relations in North America. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has echoed Mexico’s comments that an updated agreement would be a welcome change. On May 30, thirty-two chief executives sent a letter to the Trump Administration, urging the administration to move swiftly on an update to NAFTA. They urged quick action and emphasized the benefits that they currently receive from the deal. A swift resolution, however, is unlikely. Transparency rules will create procedural delays in the negotiations, which will likely push the negotiations into the 2018 campaign season. Such timing will allow Democrats to press Republican lawmakers to live up to their campaign promises of more jobs and better jobs. Few among Americans, Mexicans, and Canadians want a total overhaul of NAFTA. Most would prefer status quo on the overall structure and an update in various areas. Stronger intellectual property rights and a commitment from Mexico and Canada not to impose customs duties on digital products is one area in which we may see an update. Other outcomes that have been discussed include lower trucking rates, reduced trade which creates more warehouse space, and an increase in ocean rates as demand increases, but it is difficult to predict with certainty. With negotiations beginning at the earliest in August 2017, it is too early to know how the negotiations will affect manufacturers and companies in the transportation and logistics industries. Benesch will continue to monitor negotiations and pre-negotiation releases of information to provide updates to our clients in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and related industries of any developments. For more information contact: Kevin Capuzzi 302-442-7063 kcapuzzi@beneschlaw.com Paul Obszanski 317-685-6145 pobszanski@beneschlaw.com
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Sixth Circuit is Latest Appellate Court to Find Class Action Waivers Violate NLRA : Jun 19th - On Friday, May 26, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals became the latest federal appellate court to weigh in on whether or not arbitration agreements that include class action waivers violate federal labor law, specifically, the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). NLRB v. Alt. Entm’t, Inc., No. 16-1385, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9272 (6th Cir. May 26, 2017). In a 2-1 decision, the Court agreed with the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) position that mandatory arbitration agreements that require employees to waive their right to bring claims as a class or collective action interfere with employees’ right to engage in concerted protected activity for their mutual aid or protection, a right protected under Section 7 of the NLRA. This issue has been percolating at the appellate court level since 2013 and at least six federal appellate courts have now considered the issue. With the Sixth Circuit’s decision last week, circuits now have split evenly on the issue, 3-3. In D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB, 737 F.3d 344 (5th Cir. 2013), the Fifth Circuit rejected the NLRB’s ruling that requiring employees to agree to mandatory arbitration and forego class and collection actions as a condition of employment violates the NLRA. The Fifth Circuit refused to enforce the NLRB’s order, holding that it violated the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The Fifth Circuit dismissed the NLRB’s argument that the FAA’s savings clause (providing that arbitration agreements shall be enforceable except “upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract”) renders an arbitration agreement with a class action waiver invalid. The Fifth Circuit also found that the NLRA did not contain a congressional command exempting the statute from application of the FAA. Thus, the arbitration agreement was enforceable. The Second and Eighth Circuits subsequently agreed. Sutherland v. Ernst & Young, 726 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2013); Patterson v. Raymours Furniture Co., 659 Fed. Appx. 40 (2d Cir. 2016); Owen v. Bristol Care, Inc., 702 F.3d 1050 (8th Cir. 2013); Cellular Sales of Missouri, LLC v. NLRB, 824 F.3d 772 (8th Cir. 2016). The Fifth Circuit reiterated its position in 2015 and again rejected the NLRB’s argument that class action waivers contained in arbitration agreements violate the NLRA. Murphy Oil USA, Inc. v. NLRB, 808 F.3d 1013 (5th Cir. 2015). On the other side, the Sixth Circuit has now joined the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in following the NLRB’s position that such class action waivers violate Section 7 of the NLRA. Lewis v. Epic Systems Corp., 823 F.3d 1147 (7th Cir. 2016); Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 834 F.3d 975 (9th Cir. 2016). The Sixth Circuit pronounced that the NLRA and FAA must “work in harmony” and that an arbitration agreement that violates the NLRA is not enforceable under the FAA. The Sixth Circuit determined that no conflict exists between the FAA and the NLRA because the NLRA protects all concerted activity. The Court further maintained that interference with such concerted activity – such as enforcing a class action waiver in a mandatory arbitration agreement – violates the NLRA. The Sixth Circuit concluded that the right to concerted legal action, whether substantive or procedural, is a right guaranteed by Section 7 of the NLRA. Consequently, any arbitration provision that operates to prohibit this Section 7 right is explicitly illegal and, as such, falls within the savings clause of the FAA. The Supreme Court has already granted certiorari to hear the Murphy Oil (5th Circuit), Epic Systems (7th Circuit), and Ernst & Young (9th Circuit) cases to resolve the split. If you have any questions on this topic please contact a member of our Labor & Employment Practice Group. Eric Baisden at ebaisden@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4676. Peter Kirsanow at pkirsanow@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4481. Steve Moss at smoss@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4675. Adam Primm at aprimm@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4451.
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Group List

Abaya, Amado - Maintenance Manager
Bartlett, Chad - Tech
Baugh, Hank - Maintence & Automation Manager
Beeker, Tim - Maintenance Manager
Benefiel, Jim - Maintenance Manager
Berges, John - Automation & Facilities Mgr
Brewer, Jeremy - Maintenance Manager
Brook, Bob - Manager of Maintenance
Ciampi, John - Maintenance & Facilities Manager
Ciampi, John - IM Maintenance Manager
Dawe, Tim - Maintenance Scheduler
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francke, wayne - Technical Maintenance
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Queen, Kevin - Maintenance Manager
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Silence, Bruce - Maintenace Supervisor
Smith, Doug - Facility Manager
Sonneson, Gary - Maintenance Manager
Spicer, Lonnie - Maintenance Supervisor
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Tenney, Gary - Maintenance Manager
Tubbs, Matt - Technician
vance, eric - maintenance
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