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Category Archives: Section 7

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Employer’s Interview Of Employees During Defense Of Unfair Labor Practice Violates Act, NLRB Rules

Posted in General Counsel, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Unfair Labor Practices

We already know that when it comes to the NLRB there already are several actions an employer can take that violate the NLRA, even though such actions would be perfectly acceptable under any other employment law.  And sometimes the actions are deemed unlawful even when they are not directly related to the NLRA.  Thus, we’ve… Continue Reading

Non-Compete Agreement A Mandatory Subject of Bargaining, NLRB Rules

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Confidentiality, Employer policies, NLRA, NLRB, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Section 8(a)(5), Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices

The first day of employment is often chaotic.  New employees must learn their way around the jobsite, meet (and remember the names of) many new people and otherwise familiarize themselves with working at a new job.  Oh, and there’s the paperwork.  Seemingly endless mounds of paperwork.  New employees are asked to sign a multitude of documents… Continue Reading

Recent NLRB Decision A Reminder That NLRA Can Protect Actions Of A Single Employee

Posted in Collective Bargaining, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices

So far, it has been a long quiet Summer with little NLRB activity, – with the exception of the recent ruling that temporary agency employees can be part of a bargaining unit with the principal employer’s employees, of course.  More change may be coming, though.  The end of the NLRB’s fiscal year is September 30 and… Continue Reading

NLRB Refuses to Approve Withdrawal of Charges Despite Settlement of Class Action Case

Posted in Arbitration, Employer policies, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Uncategorized

We know that, among many other common employer policies, the NLRB considers many mandatory arbitration agreements to be unlawful, particularly where they prohibit class or collective actions.  See Murphy Oil USA, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 72 (2014).  Unlike a more run of the mill handbook violation where the government seeks removal or modification of the policy, an… Continue Reading

Union Represented Employee Not Entitled To Co-Worker Witness During Investigatory Interview, NLRB Rules

Posted in General Counsel, Investigations, Mandatory submissions, NLRA, NLRB, Non-Union employers, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices, Workplace Investigations

The last few months at the NLRB have been relatively quiet, save of course for the ambush election rules which went into effect on April 15; the true impact of these rules has yet to be revealed.  Many of the recent Board cases involve correcting decisions that were  invalidated by the Supreme Court in its Noel Canning recess appointment decision…. Continue Reading

Search Of Company Vehicle Not Employee Interview Triggering Weingarten Rights, NLRB Division of Advice

Posted in Advice, Investigations, Investigations, NLRA, NLRB, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices, Workplace Investigations

The scope of a union-represented employee’s right to have a union representative present during an investigatory interview is one of the more interesting areas of labor law.  Even though most people who practice labor relations know the basics of the so-called Weingarten rights, the same types of questions continue to arise because there are an… 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

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

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

NLRB: Employee’s Outburst In Calling Manager “Trouble” Not So Egregious As To Render Conduct Unprotected

Posted in Due Process, Healthcare Employers, NLRA, NLRB, Non-Union employers, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Uncategorized, Workplace Investigations

A theme we have followed here with interest is protected concerted activity, and what kinds of conduct might render otherwise protected activity “unprotected.”  We noted, for instance, that the Board recently held that an employee’s use of derogatory gender-based comments  may not not render a protected outburst “unprotected,” even if the EEOC and the myriad State… Continue Reading

Employer Merely Granted Employee’s Wish To Be Terminated, NLRB Div. Of Advice Rules

Posted in Advice, Facebook, General Counsel, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Non-Union employers, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Social Media, Social Media Policies

Social media permeates society.  It was inevitable that the increased use of smart phones and various communications platforms such as Facebook and Twitter would clash with the workplace.  We have noted several instances where the NLRB has alleged that employer action in response to social media posts is unlawful, as well as its seemingly endless review… Continue Reading

NLRB Pulls Back A Little More On Policy Frenzy, Finds Code Of Conduct Does Not Violate The Act

Posted in Advice, At-Will, Employer policies, General Counsel, Handbook, Mandatory submissions, NLRA, NLRB, Section 7, Social Media Policies, Uncategorized

As we have seen repeatedly in the last year, the NLRB has taken it upon itself to police employer policies often finding a phrase or two to be a violation of the Act.  In recent months we have seen the NLRB seemingly pullback on this trend, taking a much closer look at the context of… Continue Reading

Holiday Season Extravaganza: NLRB Issues Flurry Of Law Changing Decisions

Posted in Arbitration, Collective Bargaining, Duty to furnish information, Duty to provide information, Facebook, General Counsel, NLRA, NLRB, Pre-arbitration Discovery, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Section 8(a)(5), Uncategorized

Last week the NLRB issued several significant decisions.   In the press release announcing the decisions, the agency noted that most were actually issued “the week of December 10, but were issued this week following editing and formatting which is typical for the final decisions in a Member’s term.”  This is a reference to Member Hayes’… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Rules Employee Efforts To Take Over Editorial Control At Newspaper Unprotected By NLRA

Posted in General Counsel, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Unfair Labor Practices

An issue we have discussed previously is whether all employee action that is “concerted” is also protected by the NLRA.  We have seen that maliciously false statements made to third parties are unprotected.  But what about when employees disagree with managerial control of the operations?  How far can they press their claims?  When it comes to… Continue Reading

NLRB, Union Violated Act When Steward Invoked Company Handbook To Stop Member Complaints

Posted in Employer policies, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Section 7, Section 8(b)(1)(A), Uncategorized

In the last couple of years, we have seen close scrutiny of employer handbooks by the NLRB.  If the agency deems a policy, or a portion of a policy, to be something employees might reasonably construe to inhibit protected activities, it is found to be unlawful.  These types of cases are vexing. if only because… Continue Reading

NLRB Developments Post-Election – What The Future May Hold In Labor Relations

Posted in At-Will, Bargaining units, Employer policies, Facebook, General Counsel, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Off-duty Access, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Social Media Policies

Now that the election is over, one of the main questions being asked is, what next?  We recently held a Webinar entitled “The Latest at the NLRB and Post-Election Developments” to address this question.  It seems clear that with Congress still divided that there likely will not be much in the way of legislative change.  The pressing issues… Continue Reading

NLRB Division, Some “At-Will” Clauses Ok

Posted in Advice, At-Will, Employer policies, General Counsel, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Non-Union employers, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Uncategorized, Unfair Labor Practices

The Board’s excruciatingly close scrutiny of employer policies continues as the agency looks for opportunities to expand its juridiction by rooting out all evil lurking in handbooks and other written employment policies.  The NLRB has taken the position that certain “at-will” language in handbooks, language that in various forms exists in virtually every private employer’s handbook in… Continue Reading

Update: NLRB Upholds Termination For Facebook Posting, But Nails Employer For Unrelated Handbook Policy

Posted in Employer policies, Facebook, General Counsel, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Social Media, Unfair Labor Practices

The NLRB has received a lot of attention for its actions the last couple years.  One of the storms was caused by the agency’s attention to employer actions based on employee Facebook postings.  More to the point, employers were not too thrilled with some things being posted by employees on the internet for the multitudes to see,… Continue Reading

NLRB: Employer’s Harassment Investigation Lawful, But Not Resulting Discipline

Posted in Decertification elections, Handbook, Leaving work without permission, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Unfair Labor Practices

As the end of its fiscal year approaches (September 30), the NLRB pushes more decisions out than it has in the last several weeks.  Not a whole lot are of note, honestly.  There seems to be an uptick of default judgments being issued,-findings of violations of the NLRA without a formal hearing,–but it is difficult… Continue Reading

Independence Day Incrementalism: NLRB (Again) Expands On Precedent By Ruling Employer Off-Duty Access Rule Unlawful

Posted in General Counsel, Handbook, NLRA, NLRB, Off-duty Access, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Unfair Labor Practices

Last year the NLRB’s order of the day was sweeping change.  That brought us the employee rights poster, the ambush election rules, and micro unions.  The Board today is not acting in such a bold manner, and instead is seeking gradual change through a policy of incrementalism.  We saw recently how the current Board expanded… Continue Reading

Directing Employees To Hand Out Leaflets A Violation, NLRB Rules

Posted in Section 7, Section 8(a)(1)

Employers, particularly outward facing ones, can find external union protest activity in front of the business to be annoying.  The NLRB recently ruled that the employer cannot enlist employees to assist in countering such efforts.  In Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc., 358 NLRB No. 65 (June 25, 2012).pdf, the employer, an operator of grocery… Continue Reading

NLRB: Maliciously False Statements By Employee To Third Party Not Protected

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Unfair Labor Practices

A problem that has vexed employers since the inception of the NLRA is the exact contours of employee free speech under the Act.  We know that employees are given a great deal of latitude to express discontent, even to the point where they can wear t-shirts identifying themselves as prisoners to customer homes.  This issue generally has… Continue Reading

Court Strikes Down Portions Of NLRB Notice Posting Rules

Posted in Employer policies, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Representation Elections, Rights Poster, Rulemaking, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Unfair Labor Practices

A federal judge in the District of Columbia handed employers a significant partial victory in the ongoing skirmish over the NLRB’s attempts to require all employers under its jurisdiction to post a notice of employee rights.  As we have noted previously, the NLRB postponed the original November 14, 2011 compliance date, only to postpone it… Continue Reading

Finding Certain Facebook Activity To Be Unprotected, NLRB Dismisses Two Charges

Posted in Advice, Employer policies, Facebook, Handbook, LinkedIn, NLRA, NLRB, Protected activity, Section 7, Section 8(a)(1), Social Media, Social Media Policies

The intersection of social media and employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act has received a great deal of attention in recent months, including recently on this blog.  Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn have made it very easy for people to stay connected.  With a simple push of the button, everyone in… Continue Reading