Tag Archives: NLRB

DOL Asserts “As Broad as Possible” Joint Employer Standard for Wage and Hour Enforcement

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In new guidance issued on January 20, the Department of Labor (DOL) has aggressively interpreted its authority “as broad as possible” to hold employers responsible for wage and hour violations committed by separate “joint employers.” This guidance, issued by David Weil, the administrator of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, makes clear those businesses sharing employees … Continue reading this entry

Purple Haze Remains Over Employees' Personal Rights on Employer Email Networks

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More than a year after the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) momentous Purple Communications, Inc. decision, determining that employers must allow off-duty employees to use the company email system to engage in activities like union organizing, we reflect on the continued haze and lack of clarity in this critical area.  The sharply divided 3-2 decision, … Continue reading this entry

Employers Should Take Care When Prohibiting Workplace Recordings

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A number of years ago, one of the nation’s largest grocery stores banned its employees from recording workplace conversations, images, or meetings without prior management approval or consent by all parties to a conversation. Sounds reasonable, right? Not to the NLRB, which recently ruled that the employer’s recording restrictions violate the National Labor Relations Act. … Continue reading this entry

Decoding the NLRB’s New Joint Employer Standard

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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made major changes to the concept of joint employers in 2015, culminating in what many felt was a head spinning decision in August, known as Browning-Ferris, setting a new standard for determining if two entities are joint employers. That NLRB decision stepped beyond a review of one business’s actual exercise of … Continue reading this entry

NLRB Hands Employers a Win (Seriously!): GPS Tracking of Employee Upheld

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It is no surprise that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been busy this summer establishing several principles that are frightening to employers. But in an unexpected turn of events, the NLRB Office of the General Counsel, Division of Advice, recently handed management a win. The Board held that installation of a GPS tracking … Continue reading this entry

The Lessons (and Wisdom) of Rihanna

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Everyone these days seems to think they are entitled to more money, from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) claiming that there really are no independent contractors to the thousands of United Automobile Workers (UAW) members who recently rejected a tentative agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles because union membership claimed the agreement did not … Continue reading this entry

How the NLRB Spent Its Summer — Could Be a Chilly Autumn

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For those of us in the employment field attempting to recover from the languor of long summer days, it’s time to catch up and ask what the NLRB has been up to during the dog days.  The answer – a lot. And so we take this opportunity to recap what has been a busy time during … Continue reading this entry

A Quick Update on Speedy Election Rules (Hint: The Predictions Have Come True — Somewhat)

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The National Labor Relation Board’s new election procedures became effective April 14, 2015. You may recall that the new rules were largely designed to shorten significantly the time between a union’s filing of a petition for election and the voting. Businesses cried foul, worried that a shorter time period between the petition filing and the election … Continue reading this entry

NLRB’s New Joint Employer Standard Creates Enormous Uncertainty

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Late last week, the National Labor Relations Board published a decision that will make many business leaders’ heads spin. By pronouncing a new legal standard to be used to determine if a business is a “joint employer” of another’s employees, the Board has created an unprecedented amount of uncertainty for all types of businesses. Under this … Continue reading this entry

NLRB Calls Audible — No Union for Northwestern

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Over a year ago, the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Chicago concluded that scholarship athletes on the Northwestern University football team were “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, giving them the right to unionize and bargain over terms and conditions of their purported employment. The ruling garnered … Continue reading this entry

The Long Reach of the National Labor Relations Act

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Non-union employers are often under the misimpression that they are not affected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) — the federal statute governing union-related issues in the private sector. A recent court decision stands as yet another reminder that this is not the case, and that non-union employers can still run afoul of the … Continue reading this entry

D.C. Circuit Releases Employer From NLRB Jail

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We have frequently commented on the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) expansion and creation of sweeping protections to employees engaging in union organizing and other activities protected under the National Labor Relations Act (Act). As but one example, we recently commented on the Board’s concerning decision to consider offensive racial comments protected concerted activity under the … Continue reading this entry

Do You Know Who Your Employees Are?

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Employers are beginning to learn that they may have far more employees than they think. A driver for the ride sharing company Uber was considered an “employee” by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office earlier this month. And just last August a national franchisor was considered a joint employer of its franchisees’ employees by the Office of … Continue reading this entry

Unfortunately, Offensive Racial Comments Don’t Always Get You Fired (At Least Under Labor Law)

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Under the National Labor Relations Act, certain union activities are considered “protected.” That is, employees engaging in union activity, or union representatives carrying out their duties in the context of grievance processing or labor negotiations, are sometimes protected from discipline even though their conduct would otherwise normally result in discipline under their employer’s policies. For … Continue reading this entry

“Guidance” That Does Not Guide: NLRB General Counsel Issues Interpretations of Common Employee Handbook Policies

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We have not exactly been shy in expressing concern regarding many of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent actions, nor hesitant to opine that its actions appear purposefully designed to advantage unions and create expansive new employee rights from the language of the 80-year-old National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA). Much of the recent criticism has centered on … Continue reading this entry

Congress Rallies Against New Union Election Rules

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The currently Republican-controlled U.S. Congress has made it clear that pushing back on the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent efforts, which appear motivated by a mandate to tip the scales in favor of employees and to the advantage of union organizing, is high on the agenda. Last week, the Senate revealed its latest effort … Continue reading this entry

NLRB Again Throws Out Decades of Precedent and Recasts its Standards Regarding Deferral to the Arbitration Process

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In recent weeks, we have commented on two recent moves by the National Labor Relations Board that have reversed long standing precedent and dramatically changed the labor law landscape: 1) a decision by the Board to open employer email systems to union organizing in some circumstances, and 2) a rewrite of its election procedures to … Continue reading this entry

Open the Floodgates: “Reply All” Now Also Means “Easy Union Organizing”

di_labor
Well we pretty much knew this day was coming. Your email system has just become a union’s most effective tool to organize your employees. In May of this year, we predicted the National Labor Relations Board would overturn its 2007 Register Guard decision in which the Board determined, along political lines, that employees have no specific … Continue reading this entry

Button Bans – Be Careful

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Employers often implement dress code policies and practices which prohibit employees from wearing all types of buttons or insignia in the workplace. These kinds of policies may be put in place for customer relations, appearance or other purposes. Unfortunately, such a policy runs a significant risk of being found as illegal by the National Labor … Continue reading this entry

Employers Are Not Going to "Like" This NLRB Decision on Social Media

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The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has issued yet another decision which should cause all employers, even those without unions, to think very carefully before disciplining any employee for their actions on social media. In its recent Triple Play Sports Bar ruling, the Board found that clicking the “Like” button on Facebook was protected concerted … Continue reading this entry

You’re NOT Paranoid – the Agencies ARE Ganging Up

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Feeling a bit paranoid these days, especially where government oversight or agency investigations are involved? Your perception of reality is probably being driven less by paranoia and more by the upticks in government activity, and that twitchy sense of more government scrutiny is actually well justified. In addition to executive agency actions placing more requirements … Continue reading this entry

Micro Unions Are Here to Stay: Cosmetics Workers Made Up for Unionizing but Shoes Salespeople Need to Find a Better Fit

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The question – or controversy, depending on who you talk to – about the propriety of “micro-units” or “micro-unions” has been a pressing issue for employers since the National Labor Relations Board issued its Specialty Healthcare decision in 2011. The concern has been that unions, as a way of getting a foot in the door … Continue reading this entry

NLRB Fallout From President’s Unconstitutional Recess Appointments Continues

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As we noted when the decision was released, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the President’s 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional. Two weeks later, the developments from the decision continue to come in. Officially, the Board has been largely silent. After litigating hard for two and a half years … Continue reading this entry