On February 2, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision and order in the case of T-Mobile USA and CWA. In this case, T-Mobile, following substantial proof that the members of a collective bargaining unit no longer maintained majority support for representation by the CWA, pursued the strategy of continuing to honor the collective bargaining agreement but refused to negotiate over a successor agreement unless and until the representation issue was resolved.
On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued a long-anticipated decision in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. By a three-to-two vote the Board reconsidered its test for when employers are considered joint employers, thus triggering bargaining obligations for an employer which may not be the direct employer of a bargaining unit.
The National Labor Relations Board has continued its well-established pattern of finding routine and generally accepted personnel practices as an unlawful infringement on employee’s free speech rights. Conventional wisdom is to maintain confidentiality of informant and witness statements in internal investigations. In doing so, employers routinely request or recommend employees to maintain the confidential nature of the facts discussed during the investigation in order to maintain the neutrality and objectiveness of witnesses. To further promote objective and fair investigations, The Boeing Company promulgated a general workplace notice to employees that recommended employees refrain from discussing a case during a pending investigation. Makes perfect sense right? Wrong?!?
The NLRB recently told an Illinois hotel – NO!
A banquet server at the hotel gathered with other employees in the hallway for a break during a work day that had already lasted 14 hours. The server posted a photograph of the workers on her Facebook page, adding the comment “That’s how we work at TPCC.” The photo made it appear several employees were not working, but the server later testified that she was making a joke about employees who had already worked very hard that day. Several co-workers posted comments on the post.
On March 18, 2015, the General Counsel of the NLRB issued a report providing guidance to employers regarding handbook rules which violate Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA as well as specimen policies which don’t violate the Act in the General Counsel’s opinion.
On December 12, 2014, NLRB announced the adoption of a final rule applying changes to the procedures for union representation cases. The new rule, labeled by some as the “quickie election” rule, will expedite the initial representation election process.
The National Labor Relations Board in its continued effort to assist labor unions and employee unionization efforts has provided employees with an effective organizing tool—their employer’s own email systems. In 2007, the NLRB in Register Guard held “employees can have no statutory right to use their employer’s email systems for Section 7 purposes.
Social media allows people to connect with people that they know and investigate people that they do not know. Employers commonly use social media as a tool to discover information about job applicants and to monitor their employees’ online activities. However, employers should beware of the litigation potential before disciplining their employees for social media…