@LRToday Morning Round-Up: January 15, 2014

ALJ Finds Dress Policy Unlawful: Ben James of Law360 ($$) writes that this past Monday, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge found that a Massachusetts Honda dealer’s dress policy violated the National Labor Relations Act. The ALJ also held that the dealer had further maintained unlawful policies in its handbook regarding social media, although those policies had been rescinded.

With regard to the dress code policy, the ALJ said that a policy banning any employees who interact with the public from wearing "message clothing" violated the Act:

“There are numerous factors that need to be weighed to determine whether a displayed item constitute special circumstances and should be permitted, including size and the message thereon. A blanket prohibition such as the instant one, therefore violates Section 8(a)(1) of the Act,” the decision said.

Because the other unlawful handbook policies had already been rescinded, the ALJ only ordered that the dealer change its dress code policy. We will keep you posted as to whether this decision is appealed to the full Board.

Judge Refuses To Grant Preliminary Approval To Concussion Settlement: Sam Farmer and Ken Bensinger of the LA Times write that yesterday, U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody denied preliminary approval of a massive $765million settlement between the National Football League and a group of almost 5,000 retired players, citing concerns that the proposed sum will not last the life of the deal. The proposed settlement is set to be paid out over a 20-year period and will cover medical expenses incurred by former players now suffering from neurological damage. Judge Brody’s major concern was that the settlement would not cover players who have yet to develop such debilitating conditions.

"In the absence of additional supporting evidence," she wrote, "I have concerns about the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the settlement."

Some players welcomed the Judge’s decision, believing that the settlement most players had signed on to to be unfair. At this point, both parties now will bring in economic experts and submit reports in an attempt to convince the Judge of the deal’s bona fides. We will certainly keep you posted on any relevant developments.

Orchestra Lockout At An End: Mark Memmott of NPR reports that after fifteen long months, the Minnesota Orchestra and management officials have reached an agreement to end a labor lockout. The musicians, set to return to work on February 1, have been locked out of work since October of 2012. The parties have agreed to a three-year deal for the musicians, which includes a 15% pay cut in the first year. The musicians will also have to take on increased health care expenses.

Please continue to follow Labor Relations Today, here at the blog, via Twitter (@LRToday), or via Flipboard for further developments and analysis.