Legal adventurism in an attempt to make new law 12/12/17

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm

This month's column reports on two National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge decisions involving the issue of whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor. In both cases, former NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin had urged the ALJ to rule that merely classifying someone as an independent contractor is an independent violation of the National Labor Relations Act. This is legal adventurism in an attempt to make new law.

In one of the cases, the ALJ found independent contractor status and chose not to reach that novel issue. In the second case, the ALJ found employee status and agreed with the NLRB general counsel, finding that the misclassification of the individuals as independent contractors was a per se independent violation of the NLRA. With a new management majority sitting on the NLRB in Washington, let us hope that this legal adventurism will be reversed.

I also report on a new NLRB case involving an employer's texting and confidentiality rules, as well as a new court case addressing the ability to discover social media passwords in litigation.
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Farewell blog post: Some parting words about what our industry needs to do 11/28/17

By Steve Gray, Morris Publishing Group

This may be my final blog post, for reasons I explain in its opening paragraphs.

So I'm using this last opportunity to sum up the huge challenge that faces newspaper companies – and the things I believe could possibly turn the tide from ongoing decline to growth.

It's a very tall order – but with the right leadership and commitment of resources, perhaps it could be done.

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Make sure your team stays in the loop 11/28/17

By Jules Ciotta

One drawback to great teamwork is that, because of the effort and time it takes to work well together, team members may become isolated from the rest of the organization. To keep that from happening to your team, here are some questions team members should be answering periodically.

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Management attorney Peter Robb confirmed as next NLRB general counsel 11/14/17

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm

On Nov. 8, by a vote of 49 to 46, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump's nomination of Peter Robb to be the next NLRB general counsel. Robb, a management labor lawyer from Vermont, replaces Richard Griffin, whose term expired on Nov. 4.

In this column, also read an update about the U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule, news about an EEOC case, plus a case regarding the ADA.

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Building a productive sales environment 10/31/17

By Cindy Durham, assistant executive director, SNPA

Newspaper companies can't take a passive approach in how they approach the hiring of salespeople. They must implement a proactive hearts-and-minds marketing campaign in order to build what Charity Huff, managing partner of Maroon Ventures, calls the A-Team.

During the SNPA-Inland Annual Meeting, Huff shared proven, successful strategies to build a productive sales environment, maintain a healthy pipeline of qualified sales professionals, and reach new customers with compelling marketing tactics.

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Four guidelines for effective coaching 10/31/17

By Jules Ciotta

Learning to be a good coach for your employees doesn't mean mastering complicated techniques or memorizing dozens of rules as much as simply developing the right attitudes in yourself. To be an effective coach, you need to follow some basic guidelines to help you cultivate the habits and perspective that bring out the best in your staff.

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Publishers somewhat more optimistic than the past two years 10/23/17

Responses to the Fall 2017 Publisher Confidence Survey conducted by Cribb, Greene & Cope indicate publishers continue to be encouraged about the short-term future, and are somewhat more confident than they were a year ago.

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Emanuel confirmed; NLRB management majority restored 10/16/17

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm

On the evening of Monday, Sept. 25, the U.S. Senate voted 49 to 47 to confirm William Emanuel to the National Labor Relations Board.

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Cribb, Greene & Cope Annual Publisher Confidence Survey 10/10/17

Newspaper owners and executives are encouraged to participate in the Annual Publisher Confidence Survey.

The survey asks 11 questions that provide direct feedback from publishers on revenue, profit and other current trends in the publishing industry.

The survey takes less than two minutes to complete, and results are provided immediately so publishers can see how others are responding.

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Independent contractor carveout changed in North Carolina 10/10/17

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm

We have been writing for months about the never-ending saga of legislative attempts to remove from North Carolina law a provision in the workers' compensation law that presumes newspaper carriers are independent contractors. This presumption has been very valuable since it was passed almost two decades ago. Since that time, there has not been a single reported independent contractor versus employee case in the workers' comp arena in the state of North Carolina.

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