Anna Wermuth, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses departmental grad assistant organizing in BNA. Anna pointed specifically to a June 2016 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit involving retailer Macy’s Inc. That closely watched decision upheld the Specialty Healthcare standard in a retail setting, she said. “The department-by-department approach is not unheard of now, and it has been approved by the labor board and at least by the 5th Circuit,” Anna said. Universities are “obviously a different setting, and I think what really ultimately it will come down to in an academic setting is how the institution is organized.” Universities are often “decentralized in their decision-making,” Anna said, with many decisions pertaining to academics coming from a “localized level” rather than a high-level administrator.
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