As has been widely reported, including in our February E-Update, the National Labor Relations Board recently asserted that severance agreements may not contain general non-disparagement or confidentiality/non-disclosure clauses, based on its premise that such clauses violate the rights of employees under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid or protection (i.e. “protected concerted activity”). This ruling was troubling for unionized and non-union employers alike. General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has now issued a memo expressing her views regarding the practical impact of this ruling.
I became the commissioner of my daughter’s county basketball league when she was nine. No one else would “step up.” The prior year, a player had slapped another player in the handshake line at the end of a game in retribution for rough play (by an 8-year-old girl!) and no game commissioner was there to intervene. I decided to take on the role of cool-headed logistics manager: a non-coach who could make sure the game schedule was set, the rules were observed, and each game had a designated adult in attendance to avoid bad sports behavior (whether by players, coaches or parents). But this “cool headed commissioner” is ripping mad at the NLRB (or, to be more precise, the NLRB majority) for concluding that junior and senior high school lacrosse referees are employees and not independent contractors entitled to unionize!
Continue Reading The NLRB Thinks High School Sports Referees Can Unionize!
Readers of this blog likely know the first reference. But, how about the second? Give yourself a hand if you said “Richard F. Griffin, Jr., General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board.” GC Griffin, a holdover from the Obama administration, decided last week that the new Trump administration was not going to have all the fun in Washington, D.C. What is it that GC Griffin did, you ask? Well, he decided that your favorite running back from Stanford, or that dynamic wide receiver from Northwestern, are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, entitled to full protection under the Act!
Continue Reading Are College Football Players Employees? The NLRB General Counsel Thinks So!
As I’ve made clear in past posts, I am increasingly frustrated with the current National Labor Relations Board’s clearly pro-union, anti-employer approach. I find many of their decisions to have little or no relationship to common sense or logic. So I found a concurring opinion by Judge Patricia Millett in the recent case of Consolidated Communications, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board to be of particular interest, as she expresses her “substantial concern with the too-often cavalier and enabling approach that the Board’s decisions have taken toward the sexually and racially demeaning misconduct of some employees during strikes.” Judge Millet goes on to say, “These decisions have repeatedly given refuge to conduct that is not only intolerable by any standard of decency, but also illegal in every other corner of the workplace.” (!!!!)…
Continue Reading Why Does the NLRB Tolerate Racist and Sexist Conduct?