Concrete Products

JUL 2014

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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www.concreteproducts.com JuLY 2014 • 11 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Labor Relations Board have implemented a joint referral agree- ment to redirect to the NLRB OSHA complainants whose claims of discrimination under the OSH Act are time barred, but may form the basis of timely unfair labor practice charges under the National Labor Relations Act. NLRB Associate General Counsel Anne Purcell disclosed the accord in a May memorandum. Section 11 (c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act re- quires that discrimination complaints be fled with OSHA within 30 days of the wrongful conduct. By OSHA's estimate, between 300 and 600 complaints are screened out or dismissed each year be- cause the complaining employee fails to fle a complaint with the agency within 30 days. Beginning in March 2014, the OSHA Offce of Whistleblower Protection Programs has instructed OSHA staff to advise complainants who miss the OSHA fling deadline of their right to fle a charge relating to the same conduct with the NLRB within the six-month statute of limitations of the National Labor Relations Act. The agencies reason that in a number of cases, the complained-of conduct may be "concerted" in nature and thus im- plicate the NLRA's protections as well as OSHA's. OSHA's policy is to advise complainants with untimely charges of the right to fle charges with the NLRB, that the statute of limita- tions for doing so is six months, and that OSHA "recommends that the complainant contact the NLRB as soon as possible to discuss his or her rights." OSHA personnel are also to provide the complainant contact information for the nearest NLRB Field Offce, the NLRB web- site, and the NLRB's toll-free number. NLRB AGC Purcell directed Board feld staff to be alert for such referrals, and to record the number of OSHA-referred charging par- ties. The agreement between OSHA and NLRB builds on the coop- eration between the two agencies pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1975 for handling workers' safety retalia- tion complaints that might be fled with either or both agencies. In that MOU, it was agreed that enforcement actions should be taken primarily under the OSH Act, rather than the National Labor Rela- tions Act. The new agreement refects in part the NLRB's continuing emphasis on the expansion of protected concerted activity claims. By Thomas Lucas, Roger Kaplan, Howard Bloom and Phil Rosen of the Washington, D.C., offce of Jackson Lewis P.C., a national workplace law frm. Reprinted from www.jacksonlewis.com with permission. Operating Engineers take narrow election The National Labor Relations Board has certified International Union of Operating Engineers Local 77 in Suitland, Md., as collective-bargaining representative for equipment operators and mechanics at the Structural Concrete Products LLC plant in Manassas, Va. The Board adopted a region- al director's January 2014 decision on the prior month's representation vote—four in favor, three opposed—among proposed bargaining unit employees. Woodbridge, Va.-based Structural Concrete had challenged the election, citing a Local 77 agent's presence in a parked vehicle from which employees en route to casting ballots could be observed. OSHA AND NLRB UPDATE REFERRAL AGREEMENT GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AGENCIES

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