Labor Relations Update

Category Archives: Non-Union employers

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Attack Falsely Alleging Sandwich Maker Engaged In Unhealthy Practices Not Protected Activity Concludes Appeals Court, Overruling NLRB

Labor disputes are passionate affairs.  Workplace grievances elicit all sorts of strident behavior. When the dispute involves a group of employees, the effect can become magnified.  The exact point at which the stridency of an employee’s behavior becomes unprotected is not always apparent, and like so much else in labor relations, the line changes with the Board’s … Continue Reading

HR Generalist’s Threat To Bring In Union Not Protected, NLRB Rules

One of the most interesting things about labor relations is the unusual situations human resources professionals have to deal with on a day to day basis.  If you are at a cocktail party with a human resources professional, ask them what the most unusual thing they’ve ever encountered on the job and chances are you’ll … Continue Reading

17 Year Old Ruling In Representation Case Can Preclude New Claim For Employees, Divided NLRB Rules

Of all the changes to the law the NLRB has made in the last several years, the most significant involve how the agency determines bargaining units.  For example, the NLRB’s decision in Specialty Healthcare drastically altered the manner in which bargaining units were determined by the Regional Directors and the NLRB.  Also, the NLRB’s ambush election rules also … Continue Reading

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

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

Ebola and Potential Labor Relations Issues

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

Old Fashioned Protected Concerted Activity Stirred Up With A Twist

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

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

NLRB Rights Poster Rule Gets Torn Down Again, This Time By Fourth Circuit

Of the many actions by the NLRB during the last few years, one of the most contentious has been its attempt to require all private employers falling under its jurisdiction to post a notice informing employees of their rights to unionize.  The notion of posting such a notice was considered bad enough, but when the NLRB … Continue Reading

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

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

DC Court of Appeals Invalidates NLRB Rights Poster Holding Regulation Violates NLRA

A federal appeals court today rebuffed the NLRB’s attempt to require all employers under its jurisdiction to post in a “conspicuous” place in the workplace a poster that informs employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.   The NLRB’s rule has been controversial from the start as it didn’t just require the posting … Continue Reading

NLRB Division, Some “At-Will” Clauses Ok

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

Micro Union Case Hits Federal Court Of Appeals

One of the NLRB’s most sweeping decisions in decades, Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB No. 83 (August 26, 2011).pdf, has reached a federal appeals court, as the employer seeks to have the decision overturned.  As we have previously discussed, the Board in this case established the micro union standard, where the bargaining unit sought by a … Continue Reading

NLRB Reveals More Details To Proposed Election Rule Changes

As we reported earlier, the NLRB announced it was ready to vote on some proposed amendments to the rules concerning representation elections. There was no indication in the original announcement of about the substance of the changes. On November 29, 2011, NLRB Chairman Mark Pierce disclosed more information in the form of a Board Resolution. … Continue Reading

NLRB To “Vote” On Quickie Election Rules November 30

The NLRB announced today that it was going to hold a vote on its proposed regulations to upend the well established and longstanding representation case procedures.  According to the NLRB’s announcement today, the vote is over “whether to adopt a small number of amendments” proposed earlier this year. This may well be the understatement of … Continue Reading

Government Tightens Squeeze On Contractors, Publishes Final Persuader Rule For DoD, NASA and GSA Contracts

Contracting with the Department of Defense (“DoD”), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”) and General Services Administration (“GSA”) will become more burdensome after December 2, 2011, according to final regulations published today.  The regulations, which were proposed on April 14, 2010, and were adopted without any changes (no surprise there), deem certain labor relations costs unreimbursable … Continue Reading

Rhyme or Reason? Trying to Make Sense of the NLRB’s Social Media Cases

Since the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”) issued the first “Facebook” complaint in American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. in October, 2010, dozens of unfair labor practice charges involving social media have been filed, the Acting General Counsel has identified social media cases as a priority, and gallons of electronic ink have been … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Allows Discharge for Inappropriate “Tweeting”

Employee use of social media remains at the forefront of issues at the National Labor Relations Board.  Coming on the heels of the NLRB General Counsel’s decision to issue a complaint against an employer who fired an employee for her postings on Facebook (the first time such on-line activities were considered “protected, concerted activity” by the … Continue Reading

The NLRA and the Non-Union Employer: Proposed Union Rights Poster

Late last year, the National Labor Relations Board announced that it was planning on issuing a new rule that would require all employers (even those that are not currently unionized) to put up a poster detailing all of the rights (including the right to join a union) guaranteed to employees under the National Labor Relations Act.  This was the first proposed use of administrative … Continue Reading
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