Update on Lawsuit by Georgia Governor Against Atlanta Mayor Regarding Face Covering Mandates

On August 13, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia withdrew his lawsuit challenging the City of Atlanta’s face covering mandate.  Following the withdrawal of the lawsuit and the Governor’s issuance of an executive order expressly permitting local jurisdictions to require masks in public, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that multiple cities and counties were considering the adoption of such mandates. 

Altshuler Berzon LLP represented six labor unions in filing an amicus brief in support of the City’s position last month, together with Stanford Fagan LLC, Mary Joyce Carlson, Nicole Berner (Service Employees International Union General Counsel), Robert Molofsky (Amalgamated Transit Union, International, General Counsel), and Chris Bangs (Amalgamated Transit Union, International, Associate General Counsel).

You can read more about the unions’ amicus brief here.

Workers Win Preliminary Injunction Requiring Oakland McDonald’s Restaurant to Comply with COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures

On August 13, 2020, the Alameda County Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction requiring an Oakland McDonald’s restaurant to comply with 11 COVID-19 health and safety measures.  In the lawsuit, McDonald’s workers represented by Altshuler Berzon LLP allege that the restaurant’s inadequate health and safety practices, including requiring workers to work while sick and not ensuring sufficient cleaning, personal protective equipment, or social distancing, spread COVID-19 among workers and their families and created a public nuisance. The court indicated that the defendants’ conduct and the life-or-death consequences to workers justified a preliminary injunction. The injunction continues presumptively for six months. The case is Yamilett Olimara Osoy Hernandez, et al. v. VES McDonald’s, et al., Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG20064825. The restaurant is located at 4514 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, California. You can read more about the case here.

Nevada Mining Company Recognizes Union as Part of Comprehensive Settlement of National Labor Relations Board Proceedings

August 10, 2020 — As part of a comprehensive settlement of unfair labor practice charges approved today by the National Labor Relations Board, Nevada Gold Mines, LLC, a joint venture of Newmont USA Ltd. and Barrick Gold Corp., has agreed to recognize International Union Operating Engineers Local 3 and honor the 2019-2022 collective bargaining agreement between Local 3 and Newmont.  Local 3 filed unfair labor practice charges after Nevada Gold Mines withdrew recognition from the Union, which since 1965 has represented Newmont’s employees at its Nevada mines that are included in the joint venture, and unilaterally altered the former Newmont workers’ terms and conditions of work.

Region 32 of the NLRB issued a complaint on Local 3’s charges in March 2020, setting a trial before an administrative law judge that was to have commenced in September.  In addition, the full NLRB authorized Region 32 to file a petition for injunctive relief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.  The injunctive relief sought would have required Nevada Gold Mines to recognize the Union, reinstate the collective bargaining agreement, and rescind its unilateral changes to covered employees’ terms and conditions of work at the Union’s request.  The Union appeared in the federal court proceedings as amicus curiae, and has worked closely with the NLRB’s attorneys in preparing the unfair labor practice case for trial. 

Shortly before a scheduled hearing on the NLRB’s injunction petition, Nevada Gold Mines agreed to settle all litigation.  Under the terms of the settlement approved today, Nevada Gold Mines will recognize the Union; comply with the terms of the 2019-2022 collective bargaining agreement; rescind unilateral changes to employees’ working conditions at the Union’s request; and reinstate and make whole a defined benefit pension plan that the company had terminated.

Altshuler Berzon LLP represented the Union in this litigation.