A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing officer recently recommended that the union election at an Alabama Amazon warehouse be run a second time. The hearing officer, an employee of a NLRB Regional Office, sided with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) that Amazon’s actions interfered with a fair election. Specifically, the hearing officer found that Amazon’s installation of an unmarked mailbox as a ballot drop-site that was within the view of company surveillance cameras, hiring of private police, threatening of employees, and changing county traffic lights (come on, how many companies have the pull to get county traffic lights changed?) to impede RWDSU access to voters amounted to objectionable conduct.

Continue Reading NLRB Hearing Officer Recommends Second Union Election at Amazon – But Will It Happen?

On August 12, 2021, the recently confirmed General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board, Jennifer Abruzzo, issued her first official memo. Per an NLRB press release, GC Memo 21-04 “lays out a clear agenda…on some priorities of the Office of the General Counsel.” The memo directs NLRB field offices to submit cases addressing issues identified in the memo to the Regional Advice Branch of the Office of the General Counsel. Typically, such submissions are the first step on the path to overturning existing case law that a sitting GC seeks to change.
Continue Reading New NLRB General Counsel Signals Major Changes Ahead

As our two major political parties wage battle in statehouses around the country regarding the ways in which citizens cast their votes, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seems primed to implement electronic voting (“e-voting”) in union elections. E-voting has long been on Labor’s wish list. As we transition out of a pandemic that significantly reduced the number of manual (read: in-person, onsite) representation elections, it appears that the Democratic-controlled Board and Congress are prepared to dedicate resources to add an e-voting system to the Board’s manual and mail-ballot election processes.

Continue Reading E-Voting in Union Elections at the NLRB?

One of the many services we provide to our clients is training on how to respond effectively to union organizing activity. In short, we provide the do’s and don’ts of how to respond lawfully to a union’s efforts to organize an employer’s workforce. During these trainings, we often stress the fine line dividing lawful and unlawful statements and conduct.

Continue Reading Here’s What Not to Do When Faced With Union Organizing Activity

Oh, the irony! The National Labor Relations Board – the federal agency charged with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, which is the law that governs the relationship between unions and management, and includes the obligation to bargain in good faith – is being accused of failing to bargain in good faith! By its own union!

Continue Reading NLRB Is Refusing to Bargain in Good Faith with Its Own Union?

On July 21, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) issued what it described as “a long overdue” decision eliminating unwarranted protection for employees who engage in obscene, racist, and sexually harassing behavior under the guise of protected concerted activity.

Continue Reading NLRB Catches Up To The #MeToo and #BLM Movements

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) announced a Final Rule on joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act that retreats from the broad expansion of the joint employment principle in recent years and returns to its prior, more restrictive standard, which it describes as “carefully balanced.” This Rule will take effect on April 27, 2020.

Continue Reading NLRB Issues Final Joint Employer Rule, Making Such Findings Less Likely

In its unpublished decision in Bloomsburg Care and Rehabilitation Center, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) expressed a willingness to reconsider, and likely expand, what constitutes an alleged supervisor’s ability to “effectively recommend” discipline. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provides that if an individual performs one of several functions, including the ability to discipline, or can “effectively recommend” one of these functions (e.g., discipline or hire), the individual is a supervisor. Under current law, which was applied by one of the Board’s Regional Directors, the Board will not find that an individual effectively recommends discipline if the recommendation is reviewed or independently investigated by upper management.

Continue Reading NLRB To Expand Definition of Effective Recommendation of Discipline?

Ah, the perils of “reply all.” We’ve all been there – but did you know that doing so can implicate the National Labor Relations Act? This was the case in Mexican Radio Corp. v. NLRB. In August 2015, a restaurant hired a new general manager. Soon after this hire, employees lodged numerous complaints with the restaurant’s director of operations about the general manager’s alleged demeaning treatment of employees, as well as the restaurant’s unsanitary conditions.
Continue Reading Nothing Good Comes From Hitting “Reply All”

As those of you who pay attention to the National Labor Relations Board know (which should be all employers, since the National Labor Relations Act applies to unionized and non-union employers alike), the issue of social media policies is an area particularly fraught with confusion. In many circumstances, the Board has found such policies – or certain provisions in such policies – to unlawfully restrict employees’ rights under the Act to communicate about the terms and conditions of their employment. Thus, we labor practitioners rabidly follow each pronouncement of the Board or its General Counsel on this issue, trying to ascertain the legal parameters of such policies.
Continue Reading Wait! What Does the NLRB Think About Social Media Policies?!!!