Category Archives: NLRA

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Latest NLRB decision has employers seeing . . . Purple!

Purple computerOn December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stoked the fire that has been building around issues related to employees’ use of company e-mail for non-work-related issues. It did so when it held that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) supports an employee’s right to use an employer’s e-mail system for non-business purposes, … Continue Reading

Credible threats of insubordinate activity could override NLRA protections for employees’ Facebook postings.

No profanity pleaseA few months ago, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) determined that an employee’s profanity-laced tirade did not lose the protection of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), because the tirade followed the employer’s statement that if the employee didn’t like his job, he could quit. Recently, however, the Board found that a Facebook … Continue Reading

Asking coworkers for assistance in supporting legal claim may constitute concerted activity under the NLRA.

Helping hand black & whiteMost employers are aware that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects individuals from harassment and discrimination, and further protects them from filing claims alleging such harassment or discrimination. However, many employers are not aware that Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) also protects employees who attempt to garner support for … Continue Reading

NLRB continues to criticize employer restrictions on employees’ use of confidential information.

confidential filesIn another of the increasingly frequent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board critical of employers’ policies and handbook provisions, a Board panel recently determined that the confidentiality rule included in an employer’s “Code of Business Conduct” was overly broad and restricted employees’ right to engage in concerted activities, a restriction in violation of Section … Continue Reading

Employee’s profanity-laced outburst may not preclude protection under the National Labor Relations Act.

Swearing boyHere are the basic facts of a case (Plaza Auto Center, Inc. and Nick Aguirre, Case 28-CA-022256, May 28, 2014) that has raised a question regarding the inherent conflict between “protected activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and insubordinate behavior by employees: • Nick Aguirre became employed by Plaza Auto Center in Yuma … Continue Reading

Employment Law Carnival – The A to Z List

Plate 2Law Partners Maria Danaher, Editor of Employment Law Matters, and Mary Wright, Guest Blogger (both of Ogletree Deakins), offer up this month’s Employment Law Carnival. Here is our A to Z list of legal pickings from around the ‘Net.   is for the ADA Eric B. Meyer, The Employer Handbook, The Firefighter Afraid of Fighting … Continue Reading

OSHA and NLRB referral agreement could extend NLRB’s reach into workplace safety issues.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor, and is the federal agency charged with the enforcement of legislation related to the health and safety of workers. OSHA’s primary enforcement tool is the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act). Section 11(c) of the OSH … Continue Reading

Does your employee handbook violate the National Labor Relations Act? Based on recent NLRB decisions, it’s likely.

Under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employees have the right to: “self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. . . .” Section … Continue Reading

Handbook’s prohibition on “negative comments” about team members found to have violated the NLRA.

Like many employers, Hills and Dales General Hospital’s employee policies included provisions prohibiting “negative comments” about fellow team members, and precluded engaging in “negativity or gossip.” The policies further included a requirement to represent the hospital within the community “in a positive and professional manner in every opportunity.”  Recently, a three-member panel of the National … Continue Reading

NLRB finds policy against certain “verbal comments or physical gestures” may restrict concerted activity.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered a non-unionized hospital to rescind Code of Conduct provisions prohibiting “Verbal comments or physical gestures directed at others that exceed the bounds of fair criticism” and “Behavior . . . that is counter to promoting teamwork,” finding those prohibitions to be unfair labor practices. William Beaumont Hospital … Continue Reading

Issue: Blanket prohibition on “message” clothing violates the NLRA.

A car dealership’s prohibition on “pins, insignias, or other message clothing which are not provided to them by the company” was deemed overly restrictive and a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Boch Imports, Inc., NLRB, Case No. 1-CA-83551, January 13, 2014. Beginning in December 2011, Boch Imports, Inc., doing business as Boch … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit joins D.C. Circuit in striking down the NLRB’s embattled Notification of Employee Rights

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed an April 2012 decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, D.S.C., No. 11-cv-2516, 4/13/12), striking down the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial notice posting rule. The rule would have required most U.S private-sector employers — … Continue Reading

Expression of “personal contempt” in Facebook group message did not constitute protected concerted activity.

By now, most employers are aware of a number of “Facebook Firing” cases, in which individuals who were fired for Facebook postings have been reinstated after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found the postings to have been “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). However, on May 8, 2013, an NLRB … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit holds recess appointments to NLRB invalid.

On January 25, 2013, a three-member panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in finding that the recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) by President Obama on January 4, 2012 were unconstitutional. Noel Canning v. NLRB, No. 12-1115, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (January 25, 2013). … Continue Reading

Termination for Facebook posting does not violate state invasion of privacy law.

Recent court decisions related to employees’ online postings have centered on whether disciplinary decisions regarding those postings may violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA protects certain employee “concerted activities” aimed at discussing or improving working conditions, and precludes interference with such communications, including online messages. However, individuals also have brought other legal … Continue Reading

NLRB provides further direction on social media policies in recent advice memorandum.

Last month, employers received a little more help from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in formulating social media policies that pass muster under scrutiny from the Board. On October 19, 2012, the Associate General Counsel (AGC) for the NLRB’s Division of Advice provided a useful and well organized opinion in response to a request from … Continue Reading

NLRB is finding ways to implement its Employee Rights Notice posting, in spite of legal challenges.

On September 28, 2012, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) affirmed the decision of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who upheld a car dealership’s firing of a salesperson that was based on a Facebook posting. But it also found a way to include its Notice of Employee Rights poster in the … Continue Reading

Definition of “concerted activity” continues to be construed broadly by the NLRB.

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a number of decisions restricting the ways in which employers can limit employee electronic communications, even when those communications may damage the company or another employee’s reputation.  For many employers, those decisions have caused serious consternation, as companies now focus on what can and cannot be … Continue Reading

Employers must be able to recognize a Weingarten request in order to avoid liability under the NLRA.

Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) makes it illegal for an employer to interfere with or restrain employees from exercising the rights accorded to them under that Act. In NLRB v. J. Weingarten, 420 U.S. 251 (1975), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the NLRA “guarantees an employee’s right to the presence … Continue Reading

Violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) leads to serious penalties.

Discipline imposed pursuant to a company policy that restricts employees from any discussions of their wage rates may implicate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Section 7 protects the right of employees to engage in “concerted activities” with each other for the purpose of collective bargaining or in efforts to improve working … Continue Reading

NLRB turns its attention to the elements of an acceptable Social Media Policy.

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the right of employees to engage in “concerted activities” with each other for the purpose of collective bargaining or in efforts to improve working conditions and terms of employment. These concerted activities can be done in person, or by other methods of communication, including electronic … Continue Reading

To post, or not to post . . . ? A recent decision may again delay the effective date for the required Notification of Employee Rights.

Unless reversed or stayed before the end of the month, an April 13, 2012 ruling by a federal district court in South Carolina will block the implementation of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that would require most U.S private-sector employers — including most of the 6 million small business in the U.S. — … Continue Reading
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