On May 1, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its decision in Lion Elastomers and United Steelworkers, making it more difficult for employers to discipline employees for outbursts and similar misconduct while employees are engaged in protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).Continue Reading NLRB Provides Employees Extra Leeway to Use Offensive Language
It is not often that the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) gives employers a heads-up before it makes broad, and often burdensome, changes, but a recently issued ALJ decision might be the exception to the rule. Earlier this year, an Administrative Law Judge issued a decision in Saint Leo University, Inc., 12-CA-275612 (2023) reinforcing how the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) is applied to religious educational institutions, however, the briefing in the case indicated how that application might change in the near future.Continue Reading NLRB May Soon Expand Jurisdiction Over Educational Institutions with Religious Affiliations
According to a recent Gallup poll, 71 percent of Americans “approve of labor unions,” up three percentage points from 2021.
This represents a generational high-water mark for union support – the last time Gallup measured a higher union approval rating among the American public was 1959 when 73 Americans approved of labor unions. Prior to this year, union support had remained lower than 70% ever since union support dropped to 66 percent in 1967. The low-water mark was reached in 2009 when unions enjoyed only 48% support from the American public.Continue Reading Union Support Reaches Generational High-Water Mark as Union Election Petitions Surge
On August 29, 2022, the NLRB issued its decision in Tesla, Inc., overruling precedent that allowed employers to enforce facially-neutral dress codes to prohibit wearing non-conforming attire, including union insignia and union logos. Now, employers must allow employees to wear union attire absent a showing of “special circumstances.”
Continue Reading NLRB Mandates National Dress Code
The Labor Law Insider continues the discussion in this podcast episode with Tom Godar, Tom O’Day, Terry Potter and Rufino Gaytán on actions employers should take proactively to deter unions from garnering employee support in the workplace. Shifting social issues in and outside the workplace along with significant public support for labor unions subject all…
During the last half of May 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) issued four decisions upholding the legality of employer facially neutral work rules. Two of the decisions applied the Boeing standard to assess the legality of work rules or policies while the other two decisions restored past precedent to find that an employers’ property rights outweighed employees’ right to engage in protected activities under §7 of the National Labor Relations Act (Act). The key highlights of those decisions, including guidance on drafting work rules and policies that are lawful under the Boeing standard, are summarized below.
Continue Reading NLRB Decisions Restore Employers’ Right to Use Work Rules to Control Workplace
- Media policies which prohibit employees from communicating with the media must be narrowly tailored to protect legitimate business interests such as protecting confidential information and controlling statements made on behalf of the employer; and
- Media policies that specifically exclude communications by employees that are not made on behalf of the employer and that
On March 16, 2020, the Board issued its decision in Baylor University Medical Center and Dora S. Camacho reversing the 2018 ALJ decision and holding that Confidentiality and No Participation in Third-Party Claim provisions in a voluntary severance agreement are lawful. The decision overrules Clark Distribution System, Shamrock Foods Co., and Metro Networks to the extent the holdings extend beyond their fact patterns involving employees who were unlawfully dismissed for exercising their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (Act).
Continue Reading Confidentiality and No-Participation Provisions in Voluntary Severance Agreements Lawful
COVID-19 presents a formidable health and safety challenge to employers, and unionized employers also must address issues in the context of their obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and a collective bargaining agreement. The broad range of issues includes both mandatory subjects of bargaining and business decisions that impact the employees of the bargaining unit. Such issues include health and safety concerns, attendance and staffing issues, wage and hour issues, leave issues, changes in work schedules, layoffs, and temporary reductions in hours or closure of the business to reduce infection rates. Missteps in effectuating these major changes can lead to violations of the NLRA and an increase in the incidence of workers refusing to work. Employer’s ability to navigate these issues successfully requires an understanding of their rights under both the collective bargaining agreement and federal law in this novel situation. Here are some key considerations and proactive measures employers can take to facilitate timely and decisive employment actions.
Continue Reading Labor Relations Issues and COVID-19: Avoiding NLRA Violations through Proactive Measures
Although the National Labor Relations Act was initially established to assist unions in organizing employees, its scope is much broader as it also protects employees’ rights to engage in “protected concerted activity.” The NLRB’s interpretation of what constitutes protected concerted activity has fluctuated over the years and, in particular, under the Obama administration it expanded…