We have one opinion this week — and it is the last opinion of the decade.* That by itself makes it unusual. Beyond that though, this opinion may prove to be unusually significant for labor law. And Judge Millett has been waiting for just such an opinion since 2016. Not a bad way to end the decade.
In Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC v. NLRB, Judge Ginsburg — joined by Judges Tatel and Millett — concluded that the NLRB “failed … to address the potential conflict between its interpretation of the NLRA and [an employer’s] obligations under state and federal equal employment opportunity laws.” Here is the relevant background:
The relationship between labor law and anti-discrimination laws has not yet been fully resolved. But it looks like that day is coming. Notably, Judge Millett flagged this issue in 2016:
Let’s see what happens on remand. Who knows? This issue may come back to the D.C. Circuit on the merits. And the answer may change the tenor of labor disputes in the 2020s.
* Is it really the last opinion of the decade? Does it matter? Marking time is often arbitrary but not capricious. If you’re curious about the first opinions from 2010, here is a link. And if you’re curious about the first opinion for 2020, well, we will have to wait a week.
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