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Labor Relations Update

Category Archives: NLRA

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NLRB Issues Final Election Rules Revision

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Representation Elections

As anticipated, the National Labor Relations Board today made public its final revised election rules.  The new rules will become effective 120 days following their publication in the Federal Register.  The publication date is scheduled to be Monday, December 15, 2014, one day before the expiration of the term of Member Schiffer. There are really… Continue Reading

NLRB Reverses Course, Gives Employees Certain Rights to Use Employer’s Email

Posted in Email, Employer policies, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Social Media, Social Media Policies, Solicitation

In a decision that reverses existing case law on employee use of  employer email, the National Labor Relations Board (with two members filing separate dissents) has decided that under certain circumstances employees do have the right to use and employer’s email to engage in protected communications under the National Labor Relations Act. Purple Communications, Inc.,… Continue Reading

No Duty To Bargain Over Discipline During Contract Hiatus, NLRB Division of Advice

Posted in Advice, Collective Bargaining, Due Process, General Counsel, NLRA, NLRB, Section 8(a)(5), Uncategorized

The NLRB has been active but quiet during the last few months as the agency quietly reaffirms decisions nullified by the Supreme Court.  By all accounts, however, and as history has proved, the NLRB is getting ready to issue an onslaught of law-changing decisions as we head into the holiday season.  This onslaught of change… Continue Reading

NNU Ebola “Day of Action” Slated for November 12, 2014

Posted in Ebola, Healthcare Employers, Strikes

Registered nurses in 16 states and the District of Columbia are planning a national “Day of Action” by engaging in strikes, picketing, leafleting, rallies, and candlelight vigils on Wednesday, November 12, in support of demands by National Nurses United (“NNU”) for tougher Ebola safety precautions in the nation’s hospitals.  As we reported previously, NNU has… Continue Reading

NLRB Says On-Line Planning For Insubordination Is Not Protected Concerted Activity

Posted in Employer policies, Facebook, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Social Media, Social Media Policies

 In Richmond District Neighborhood Center, Case 20-CA-091748 (Oct. 28, 2014), the Board upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s ruling that a conversation between two employees, who were involved with student programming at the neighborhood center, was not protected under the NLRA.  During the course of their Facebook exchange, which included obscenity-laced statements regarding how they would… Continue Reading

NLRB Imposes Extraordinary, Tough Remedies for Egregious and Pervasive Violations

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Rights Poster

In a landmark decision, the National Labor Relation Board has imposed an array of extraordinary remedies against an employer for what the NLRB described as “egregious and pervasive violations” of the National Labor Relations Act.  Pacific Beach Hotel, 361 NLRB No. 65 (2014). As the basis for its imposition of the remedies, the NLRB stated:… Continue Reading

Ebola and Potential Labor Relations Issues

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Healthcare Employers, Non-Union employers, Protected activity, Strikes

The Ebola panic presently sweeping the U.S. raises a host of potential issues for employers.  We recently provided guidance to help employers ensure employee safety while also complying with legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar laws.  In addition, the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) recently released a comprehensive summary of… Continue Reading

Reading the NLRB Signs at the Triple Play Sports Bar

Posted in Employer policies, Facebook, Handbook, NLRA, Protected activity, Social Media, Social Media Policies, Uncategorized

In Three D, LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31. (August 22, 2014), the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee “liking” a status on Facebook is engaging in protected concerted activities under the NLRA.   Employees were unlawfully terminated for ranting about the employer’s tax-withholding error, which resulted in… Continue Reading

NLRB Divides Sharply on Employee Concerted Activity for “Mutual Aid or Protection”

Posted in NLRA, Protected activity, Section 7, Uncategorized, Workplace Investigations

In a complex, twenty-eight page opinion, a sharply divided NLRB has ruled that when an individual employee seeks assistance from fellow employees with respect to a violation under Title VII (or other workplace laws), the action is not only concerted but also presumptively for the purpose of mutual aid or protection, and thereby also covered… Continue Reading

Department Store Units Decided Under Specialty Healthcare

Posted in Bargaining units, Collective Bargaining, NLRA, NLRB, Specialty Healthcare

This week the NLRB decided two cases involving union organizing in large department stores. In each case an NLRB regional director applied the Board’s Specialty Healthcare test to determine whether the bargaining unit requested by the union was appropriate. In Specialty Healthcare, the Board held that a unit will be presumptively appropriate for collective bargaining… Continue Reading

NLRB Overturns Decert Election Based On Employer’s “Promises” Of 401(k)

Posted in Decertification elections, Employer policies, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Section 8(a)(1), Uncategorized

The last few months have seen very little in the way of NLRB decisions.  The recent Supreme Court decision  where the recess appointments to the NLRB were invalidated, likely will further slow down the process of issuing decisions. Still, the NLRB has had a full complement of members for almost a year, and the agency manages to… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Invalidates Recess Appointments To NLRB: Several Labor Board Decisions Now In Doubt

Posted in Collective Bargaining, NLRA, NLRB, Recess appointments, Unfair Labor Practices, Workplace Investigations

In a rare 9-0 decision issued today, the United States Supreme Court invalidated the recess appointments President Obama made to the NLRB on January 4, 2012, while the Senate was in a three day recess.  The decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (USSC June 26, 2014) means that the NLRB was operating without the requisite… Continue Reading

Old Fashioned Protected Concerted Activity Stirred Up With A Twist

Posted in Leaving work without permission, NLRA, NLRB, Non-Union employers, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Strikes, Unfair Labor Practices

A recent NLRB ALJ decision illustrates the old and the new under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).  The case is Gates & Sons Barbeque of Missouri, Inc. and Workers’ Organizing Committee, Kansas City, No. 14-CA-110229 (June 17, 2014). In this case, the employer operated a successful chain of barbeque restaurants.  One of the benefits… Continue Reading

NLRB Administrative Law Judge Rulings on Work Rules and Social Media Policies Continue to Perplex

Posted in Employer policies, NLRA, Social Media, Social Media Policies

NLRB Work Rules and Social Media Policies Continue to Perplex The NLRB may be getting #SocialMedia, but confusion concerning employer work rules and social media policies became obvious yet again in Professional Electrical Contractors of Connecticut (June 4, 2014).  In this decision, ALJ Raymond Green wrote that “a legitimate conflict of principles . . . will require… Continue Reading

NLRB Gets #SocialMedia: Board and ALJ Rulings Recap

Posted in General Counsel, NLRA, NLRB, Objectionable Conduct, Protected activity, Social Media, Social Media Policies, Unfair Labor Practices

‘April rulings bring May muddling’ might be a better way to tweet recent social media decisions at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) given the Board’s ruling in Durham School Services (April 25, 2014) and an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) opinion in Kroger Co. of Michigan (April 21, 2014).  Together, these two decisions show that the… Continue Reading

Employer Email Policies on Chopping Block as General Counsel Seeks to Overrule Register Guard and Board Calls for Amicus Briefs

Posted in Email, Employer policies, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Solicitation

In a development of importance to both union and non-union employers, the NLRB General Counsel has asked the NLRB to overrule its 2007 decision in Register Guard, 351 NLRB 1110 (2007).  In Register Guard, the Board had held that employers could bar employee use of the employer’s email for non-business purposes, including union or other… Continue Reading

Hail Mary: NLRB Regional Director Holds College Football Players are Employees

Posted in Bargaining units, NLRA, NLRB, Section 7, Uncategorized

On March 26, 2014, Peter Sung Ohr, the Chicago Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that members of the Northwestern University football team receiving athletic scholarships are employees, and not students, under the National Labor Relations Act, allowing them the opportunity to unionize through an NLRB election. First and Ten: A… Continue Reading

Is Deferral to Labor Arbitration Awards in Jeopardy?

Posted in Arbitration, Deferral, NLRA, NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a press release announcing its intention to revisit precedent created under a pair of Board decisions nearly 59 and 30 years old, respectively.  The precedent involves under what circumstances the NLRB will defer to decisions of labor arbitrators in cases where there are pending NLRB unfair labor practice charges… Continue Reading

They’re Ba-ack: NLRB to Re-Propose Election Regulations

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Representation Elections, Rulemaking

As expected, the NLRB has announced that it is again proposing regulations to amend its representation case election procedures.  A copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking submitted to the Federal Register for publication can be viewed here.  The proposed regulations appear identical to those the Board attempted to promulgate in 2011. At that time the Board… Continue Reading

NLRB ALJ Says That Under D.R. Horton, Actions Speak As Loudly as Words

Posted in Arbitration, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Unfair Labor Practices

A few weeks ago, we posted about the Fifth Circuit’s decision in the D.R. Horton case and the NLRB’s doctrine of non-acquiescence.   As you will recall, in D.R. Horton, the NLRB held that an employer violates the right of employees to engage in concerted activity by maintaining an arbitration program which prohibits employees from pursuing… Continue Reading

Noel Canning Oral Argument: Justices Express Skepticism

Posted in NLRA, Recess appointments

My experience is that oral arguments, while often interesting, rarely open much of a window into exactly how a court will actually decide the case.  Today’s Supreme Court argument in NLRB v. Noel Canning may be an exception.  Nearly all of the Justices had questions which suggested skepticism over the validity of the President’s January 4,… Continue Reading