11/14/2020 Update: Annual Meeting, New Labor Relations Tool, Economic Forecast, Black Listing
Good Morning Everyone! By now, you should have received, or soon will, an invitation to our Virtual Annual Meeting which starts on December 4th at 2PM. Obviously we miss all of you and would love to see you in person, but as we can’t, we are doing our absolute best to put together a program that is definitely worth your time.
After doing the business of the Chapter (which does include election of officers), we will be opening up a discussion on the format of Chapter meetings in pandemic conditions and beyond for 2021. From there, we will have Ball State’s Green Energy Challenge presentation and finally, a very special event we are calling Drunk Cooking. I don’t want to reveal too many details regarding this just now as its still in development, but if everything works out, it might be one of the more amazing virtual event’s you’ll ever have the chance to be a part of. Finger’s crossed. New Labor Relations Tool
Thanks to the hard work and diligence of our new hire Sam Lacher, I’m pleased to present our new Chapter Employment Availability Report. Our goal will be to have this updated every Friday. I hope you find this helpful! On the labor relations front, we’ve managed to work our way through the majority of the issues we were dealing with over the previous three weeks. Nevertheless, we still have several pending and active grievances as well as a CIR Case presentation on Tuesday of next week. In order to help stop future grievances, we will be covering a different labor relations topic each week to provide an ongoing library of interpretations on certain items. If you would ever want us to cover a specific item, please just send me an email. Good News
You know what people like? Good news! If you’re concerned about near term economic forecasts, at a recent IBJ 2021 Economic Forecast, Fifth Third Bank’s Chief Investment Strategist is actually still bullish about out Indiana’s prospects. It’s a great presentation and quite a bit of useful insight. Enjoy. Black Listing
So this issue has come up recently and is actually something that is regularly asked about in connection with our upcoming release of Watt App. Simply put, the Indiana State Code prohibits:
Unfortunately, the code didn’t really define what blacklisting was until a Indiana Supreme Court Decision in 2012. Here’s a wonderful article by Ogletree Deacons which provides some additional detail on this case, its finding, and its implications.
In short however, the court legally defined blacklisting as, “creating and circulating to other employers an actual “blacklist” of workers who “are to be refused employment or otherwise marked for special avoidance, antagonism, or enmity, because those workers are reputed to hold opinions or engage in actions contrary to the employers’ interests”.
It should be noted that despite use of the term “workers” here, due to previous caselaw, it also means former employees. Also, for those folks who might be thinking that there’s still room in that to distribute information on former workers that doesn’t explicitly convey directions to not hire, the court further indicated that any communication that, “identifies or categorizes past employees based on conduct, association, or belief; transmits or exchanges the information with other employers in its industry; and does so with the wrongful intent to inhibit or prevent a listed employee from obtaining future employment within the industry.”
That last part regarding wrongful intent pretty much seals the door on any attempt to relay negative information that has the intent to deprive anyone of future employment with other employers within their industry.
All this means that there are some behaviors that you should definitely avoid.
If you have a blacklist of people who you won’t rehire for some reason…you can tell the Union you won’t rehire them, but you probably shouldn’t convey that information in a list in writing to them.
You should not convey information with the intent to prevent a former employee from being hired to another employer.
If you are in a collaboration with another employer, again, you should not share negative information on your employees or former employees with them.
This isn’t actually a contractual issue so much as it is labor law. If you have questions about your current practices, we actually recommend you contact a competent attorney familiar with Indiana Code § 22-5-3-2. Thanks everyone and have a wonderful rest of your weekend! As always, stay safe and call if you have any questions. -Ted