Supreme Court rejects NLRB position on class action arbitration waivers
On May 21, the United States Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis. Justice Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the court. Rejecting the position of the National Labor Relations Board, the court ruled that employers and employees may lawfully agree that any disputes between them will be resolved through one-on-one arbitration. The court ruled that under the National Labor Relations Act, employees do not have the right to file class or collective actions, no matter what they agreed with their employer.MORE
'PRINT' Act introduced to protect publishers, printers from tariffs
Monday, in an effort to protect printers and publishers from unwarranted tariffs, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced S. 2385, the "Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018," or "PRINT Act." Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) joined as original co-sponsors.
The PRINT Act would suspend new tariffs currently being imposed on imported uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, which is the primary source of newsprint and other paper used by domestic newspapers, book publishers and commercial printers. Simultaneously, the legislation would require the Department of Commerce to review the economic health of the printing and publishing industries. Newspapers and printers across the United States have told Congress that the new import tariffs – as high as 32 percent – would jeopardize the viability of the industry and threaten to decimate the U.S. paper industry's customer base.
SNPA President Patrick Dorsey, publisher of the Herald-Tribune Media Group in Sarasota, Fla., and regional vice president Coastal Group, GateHouse Media, said: "We appreciate the leadership of Senator Collins and Senator King and the other co-sponsors of the bill for stepping up to protect American jobs and stop these damaging tariffs. They fully understand this action was caused by one outlier mill owned by a hedge fund and is not supported by the broader domestic newspaper producing industry. These unfair job-killing import taxes are already taking a toll across the country as newspapers have had to eliminate jobs and take other significant cost saving measures to maintain viable businesses. This is putting many community newspapers in jeopardy and further reducing their ability to keep our citizens informed on what is going on in their cities and towns. Ultimately, this is damaging to our representative democracy. The PRINT Act is a positive step in reversing these damaging impacts."MORE
Where's the Southern ad spend?
Here's your chance to find out what YOUR advertisers are thinking.
Borrell Associates invites SNPA members to participate in its 2018 Local Advertiser Survey, which is now underway.MORE
Salary survey questionnaires are due by Friday
Questionnaires for this year's SNPA Salary Survey are due by Friday. This survey provides good benchmarking data – all at no cost – but your participation is key! Every daily newspaper is encouraged to share data for this study.
Whether you publish a large-circulation paper with all of the positions included in this questionnaire ... or publish a small-circulation daily with a handful of positions: Please share your data for those positions that your newspaper staffs.
Download the survey questionnaire (Excel file)MORE
Transparency is important in subscription campaigns
To drive revenue, publishing companies are increasingly producing "premium editions" for their newspapers.
Many legal issues must be considered when preparing newspaper subscription promotions. What you communicate about "premium editions" – the cost and how they impact the length of a newspaper subscription can be critical, legally. These legal issues were brought into sharp focus in a recent lawsuit.MORE
Jules Ciotta's new book says horizontal leadership is a win-win
Today's leader is being challenged more than ever. "Do it because I said so" is not effective, and the importance of treating employees as customers is key to success.
In his new book titled "The Art of Majoring in Minor Things," organizational psychologist Jules Ciotta says effective leaders need to encourage their workers to share their thinking, even to be free to assertively disagree.MORE
Help us stop tariffs on newsprint
The Coalition to Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers is asking newspapers to take a stand and join the fight against unwarranted preliminary countervailing and antidumping duties imposed this year by the Department of Commerce on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper, which includes newsprint used by newspapers, printers and other publishers. Combined, these duties climb as high as 32 percent.
Here are two ways to help now:MORE
Arkansas Supreme Court vacates contractor ruling
On March 1, reversing the Court of Appeals, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a part-time grocery store security guard was an independent contractor, and not an employee, for purposes of Workers' Compensation.
The significance of this decision for newspaper publishers in Arkansas is that the primary factors relied upon by the Arkansas Supreme Court are usually present in the contract relationship between newspaper publishing companies and its independent contractor newspaper carriers.MORE
Independent contractor status in North Carolina
Recently, a former newspaper carrier filed a wage claim with the North Carolina Department of Labor, claiming employee status at a daily newspaper in the state. The newspaper carrier filed with the state Department of Labor, rather than federal DOL, because the federal wage and hour law contains a complete exemption for newspaper carriers; the North Carolina wage and hour law does not.
Of course, the newspaper stated that the individual was an independent contractor, not an employee. As part of its investigation, the North Carolina Department of Labor asked the company to provide specific information, in order to determine whether there was an employer/employee relationship.MORE
NLRB vacates Hy-Brand joint employment liability standard
On Feb. 26, the NLRB vacated its recent ruling in the Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors case, which overruled the National Labor Relations Board's controversial Browning-Ferris decision.MORE
NLRB independent contractor status update
The National Labor Relations Board has held that companies do not violate the National Labor Relations Act solely by misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Bottom line: the decision to classify an individual as an independent contractor rather than an employee will not, by itself, subject an employer to liability under the National Labor Relations Act.More
Develop a plan now to address Department of Labor's proposed overtime rule
The U.S. Department of Labor's rule to increase the salary threshold for the overtime exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act has not yet been finalized.
The March 7 proposed rule was open for comments for a 60-day period. The Department of Labor received more than 116,000 public comments. The Department of Labor sent its final draft of the rule to the White House and the Office of Management and Budget on Aug. 12. The text of the final rule has not been made public.
When the final rule is published with an effective date, many expect unions and worker advocates to mount legal challenges to the rule. Even though the final rule may be challenged, it would be wise to be developing a plan now to address this huge budgetary issue.
This column focuses on the standard salary threshold, which will have the most dramatic impact on your company, and offers an action plan to address the standard salary threshold increase.More
SNPA / Inland Merger: Looking ahead to preserving and promoting First Amendment values
As we celebrate joining together SNPA and Inland, it is worth at least a moment to honor the first principles of the newspaper industry that gave rise to both groups. And those, without a doubt, are freedom of the press and the parallel right to know and to distribute news.
Honoring those principles requires some reflection on the industry's singular role in building America's First Amendment foundation. And it is safe to say that SNPA's and Inland's member newspapers can fairly take credit for shaping the free speech and free press tradition of the republic like no other industry and, for that matter, like no other country on earth.More