Labor Relations Update

Tag Archives: protected activity

NLRB Settlements Can Be Tricky, Especially If You Don’t Inform The Agency

The last few decisions issued by the NLRB have addressed a wide spectrum of rather unique situations.  Just in the last several days we saw decisions involving a combative registered nurse and a human resources representative threatening unionization.  So, perhaps, one of the Board’s most recent decisions is not all that unusual….it simply involves a case … 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

NLRB GC’s Attempt At Summary Judgment In Handbook Case Rejected By NLRB Majority

The change in a presidential administration always brings changes to government agencies, including the NLRB, as new appointments are made reflecting the policy preferences of the administration.  The NLRB is not immune to this change and it has been historical practice for the president to appoint three members from the party of the administration and … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

NLRB Work Rule Decisions Continue to be a Mixed Bag

As the NLRB continues to wade through the pool of issues arising from social media policies and other workplace rules, an Administrative Law Judge’s recent decision in Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless (July 25, 2014) illustrates the growing number of problems employers face in developing corporate policies and the variability of NLRB decisions. In this … 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

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

Holiday Season Extravaganza: NLRB Issues Flurry Of Law Changing Decisions

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

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 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

Nitpicking Continues As NLRB Finds Employer’s Failure To Timely Respond To Information Request A Violation Of The Act

The Board’s fiscal year ended on September 30 with a whimper instead of a bang.  We saw a few decisions in the usual year end flurry but most of the major Board initiatives were advanced in the last two years, and so this probably is a calm before the Presidential election. Yet change still is occurring.  … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media In Perspective: Labor and Employment Law Developments

Following on the success of our March webinar, “Labor Relations Update: Live,” Ronald Meisburg and Katharine Parker will be presenting a webinar on Wednesday, June 13th, entitled “Social Media in Perspective – Labor and Employment Law Developments.”  Ronald is a frequent author of this blog and the co-head of Proskauer’s Labor-Management Relations Group.  Katharine is … Continue Reading

Acting NLRB GC Issues Additional Report On Social Media – Somewhat Useful

The Acting General Counsel of the NLRB has issued today an “updated” report on social media cases.   As we have reported frequently here, the NLRB has taken action against employers who clamp down on employee use of social media that may implicate the National Labor Relations Act.  At times, the NLRB has struggled with … Continue Reading

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

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 Upholds Non-Employee Property Access Rights

In a decision affirming the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that employees of a contractor working for a contract restaurant operator located in another employer’s hotel/casino, have a right to pass out handbills inside the hotel/casino at the entrance to the restaurant.  NewYork-New … 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 Pokes Another Employer For Facebook Related Discharge, Issues Complaint

The NLRB continued its efforts to poke employers who discipline or discharge employees who make disparaging comments on Facebook.  According to a May 24 press release, the NLRB issued yet another Complaint against an Illinois car dealer, Knauz BMW, after it terminated a salesman for content he posted on Facebook.  The press release states the salesman … Continue Reading

NLRB: Employees Dressed In Prison Garb May Visit Customer Homes

These days, one can start almost any conversation about an NLRB decision with the words, “Under vigorous dissent by Member Hayes. . .”  The NLRB’s recent decision in AT&T Connecticut, 356 NLRB No. 118 (March 24, 2011).pdf is no exception.  In AT&T Connecticut the NLRB ruled that the employer violated the NLRA when it suspended … Continue Reading
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