Recent Developments

25 April, 2023

Employers know that arbitrators are reluctant to reinstate union employees found to have committed theft, and that is why employers frequently accuse employees of "theft" or fraud" to intimidate unions from challenging the discipline. UNITE HERE Local 26 and Attorney Hykel were not easily intimidated.

2 May, 2023

A fundamental component of union collective bargaining agreements is a requirement that all discipline be supported by "just cause." As shown by the UNITE HERE Local 26's recent arbitration victory over, just cause includes a requirement that discipline be consistent across employees. Consistency is necessary to ensure that employers do not pick favorites or unfairly target employees even when the discipline is largely the same.

3 May, 2023

On May 3, 2023, the Commonwealth Employee Relations Board issued a ruling upholding the state regulation that allows unions to block elections -- including decertification elections -- when the employer has committed significant unfair labor practices that might impact the outcome of the election. This case of first impression was successfully argued by Pyle Rome attorney Alex Robertson on behalf of UFCW, Local 1459.

5 September, 2022

The right of labor unions to have a voice in the working conditions extends to secret monitoring of public employee performance, according to a new decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. This decision vindicates an unfair labor practice filed by Attorney Ian O. Russell on behalf of SEIU Local 509.

6 June, 2022

As with any employees represented by a Union, Boston Police superior officers negotiated various paid leave benefits, such as sick leave, vacation leave and personal leave. The Boston Police Commissioner routinely forces police officers to work when not scheduled, cancels scheduled days off, and attempts to limit their use of paid leave. The schedule of police officers can be subject to the whims of the Police Commissioner, without regard for the need or desire of police officers for adequate time to relax, rest or recreate.

15 April, 2022

On April 11, 2022, a neutral arbitrator ruled in favor of SEIU, Local 509 and Pyle Rome attorney Ian Russell in a long-simmering dispute relating to the step placement of state workers who are promoted from one position with an educational requirement to another position with a higher educational requirement. 

15 April, 2022

On April 6, 2022, NLRB Regional Director Laura Sacks issued a ruling clearing the way for a union election among all eligible employees in the Salem, Mass., dispensary of I.N.S.A., Inc.  This is the latest in a long string of wins by Pyle Rome attorney Alex Robertson on behalf of cannabis workers across the state as they flex their organizing muscles.

12 April, 2022

As hotels and universities reopen in the wake of the COVID pandemic, UNITE HERE Local 26 has been battling against unilateral changes that employers are blaming on the pandemic.  Pyle Rome partner Jim Hykel recently won two significant arbitration decisions pushing back against these changes.

28 March, 2022

In a case involving the Town of Scituate, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board has affirmed that public employers must bargain about the decisions involving the safety of fire fighters. It is the first such ruling by the CERB in decades. Attorney Patrick Bryant represented the Scituate fire local during the hearing.

25 March, 2022

Judge Denise Casper of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts ruled that the City of Boston’s mandatory psychiatric exams of police officers returning from extended leave (six months or more) violates the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Attorney Patrick Bryant represented the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, one of three union parties to the lawsuit. The lawsuit was largely guided by counsel for the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association.