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Category Archives: Unions

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Say What? NLRB ALJ Finds Hospital’s English-Only Rule Unlawful

Posted in HR Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions, Workplace Trends

The latest office fodder for me and my colleague, Jason Usher (who formerly worked at the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”)), involves an Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision, Valley Health System LLC, that found that a healthcare employer’s English-only rule violated the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). Many employers, especially those in the healthcare industry, institute… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Unionizing College Athletes

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

Even with the hoopla surrounding March Madness there has been equally compelling news regarding college football despite the fact that that sport is not even in season.  The National Labor Relations Board’s Chicago office just handed down a decision that Northwestern football players are employees and have the right to organize.  Nothing will happen immediately… Continue Reading

When Must Employers Permit Union Activities On Company Property?

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

Management-side labor attorneys often are spoilsports when it comes to outside groups entering company property to peddle their wares.   Many employers think they are being the benevolent boss by inviting cable companies, cell phone providers, charities, etc. onto the company premises and allowing these groups access to their employees.   But if you allow all of… Continue Reading

Will the Supreme Court Neuter Neutrality Agreements?

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions, Workplace Trends

For a labor law attorney like myself, today is Christmas morning at the Supreme Court.   In contrast to most labor law cases which reach the High Court and usually involve procedural and/or constitutional issues and labor law itself is only a side show (like Noel Canning later this term), the case at 1 First Street… Continue Reading

Labor Thoughts – Labor Peace Agreements, Split in Organized Labor, $400,000 Strikers?

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Legislative Developments, Unions

Labor Peace Agreements Leading to Successful Organizing: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workplace Freedom Initiative has released a new report, “Labor Peace Agreements: Local Government as a Union Advocate.”   The report is a comprehensive overview of local “labor peace” legislation that is becoming more commonplace nationwide.   The trend noted by the Chamber usually involves states… Continue Reading

Labor Union Membership Declines Sharply for Younger Workers

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions, Workplace Trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual report on union membership last week.   Like most of these reports in recent years, it was bleak and gloomy news for organized labor.   Private sector union membership continued its downward plummet and now stands at a paltry 6.6%.   This is down from 6.9% last year.   Perhaps, even… Continue Reading

NLRB Releases Second Facebook Case

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Social Media, Unions, Workplace Trends

The Labor Board has released its long-awaited second “Facebook case.”  To nobody’s surprise, the NLRB has largely adopted the ALJ decision that the Facebook postings in question constitute protected concerted activity under Section 7. In Hispanics United of Buffalo, an employee threatened to report several of her co-workers to management who she felt did not provide… Continue Reading

Latest NLRB Decision on Employer Overbroad Confidentiality Policies

Posted in HR Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions

Do you think it could possibly violate any law to require at-will non-union employees to sign a confidentiality agreement prohibiting disclosure outside the company of information relating to customers, marketing procedures, costs, prices, business plans, computer and software systems, and “personnel information and documents?” If you answered “of course not!” you would be WRONG under… Continue Reading

NLRB Protected Concerted Activity Web Page

Posted in Unions

The NLRB continues to take action designed to help unions organize employees.  The latest step is the Board’s recently established web page designed to inform employees of their right to engage in protected concerted activity.  The web page, located at www.nlrb.gov/concerted-activity, begins with the statement: “The law we enforce gives employees the right to act… Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel New Social Media Report

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Litigation, Unions

The NLRB General Counsel’s office has released its third report on recent social media cases. The GC reviewed social media and confidentiality policies from several companies and found most policies unlawful.  In particular, the GC found the following portions of various social media and confidentiality policies unlawful: “Don’t release confidential guest, team member or company… Continue Reading

NLRB Board Member Flynn Resigns

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

While the rest of America was busy celebrating the long Memorial Day weekend, internal turmoil at the NLRB finally resulted in action when, on May 26, NLRB Board Member Terrence Flynn submitted his resignation.   The resignation is effective July 24, but Flynn stopped conducting all agency business immediately. As we discussed on this blog in… Continue Reading

NLRB Employee Handbook Case Part Two

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

In Part One of my analysis of the recent case brought by the NLRB challenging various aspects of the Rio Hotel & Casino’s employee handbook, I reviewed two parts of the handbook that the Board found objectionable: a prohibition on off-duty clothing and an off-duty access rule.   The ALJ ruled in favor of the Company… Continue Reading

NLRB Employee Handbook Case

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

A little-noticed ALJ case recently coming out of Las Vegas gives employers excellent insight into how the NLRB General Counsel views certain employee handbook provisions.   The case involved the famous Rio Hotel and Casino – a venue which boasts a couple thousand hotel rooms and, in my opinion, the best buffet in Vegas.  Last July,… Continue Reading

New NLRB Election Rules Take Effect Today

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Unions

Today marks a new day for the National Labor Relations Board, as significant changes to its election procedures officially take effect.   All NLRB election petitions filed starting today will be subject to these new rules. The most significant changes concern the role of a pre-election hearing.   Up until now, a pre-election hearing was an opportunity… Continue Reading

NLRB Poster Struck Down

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation, Unions

BREAKING NEWS! The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina just struck down the NLRB poster requirement set to go into effect on April 30, 2012.  Contrary to the District Court for the District of Columbia ruling, the federal court in South Carolina found that the NLRB exceeded its authority in promulgating… Continue Reading

NLRB Board Appointments and 10 (j) Delegation Upheld

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation, Unions

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an important  10 (j) case in federal court in New York where the Defendant was challenging (1) the constitutionality of Obama’s recess appointments; (2) the Labor Board’s ability to delegate 10 (j) authority to the General Counsel’s office; and (3) if such a delegation survives once the Board’s membership falls below a… Continue Reading

NLRB Information Campaign on Protected Concerted Activity

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Unions

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent story about a new “information campaign” planned by the NLRB that will impact non-union employers.   The goal is to inform all employees about their legal right to take part in “protected concerted activities.”   Indeed, the right to engage in “protected concerted activity” is one aspect of the National… Continue Reading