Archives: NLRB

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Winds Of Change Blowing At The NLRB? One Recent ALJ Decision Provides A Glimmer Of Hope

Many employers find the current environment created by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) not only confusing, but often quite hostile, particularly its treatment over the past few years of employer work rules governing employee behavior in the workplace.  The Board has taken any increasingly narrow posture, most notably in the past three … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Weighs Validity of Employer Class Action Waivers; Justices’ Questions Suggest A Close Decision Ahead

Yesterday marked the first day of the United States Supreme Court’s new term, and the first case heard (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis) was one of interest to employers around the country.  In several cases consolidated before the Court on appeal, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) found employer arbitration agreements that included waivers of … Continue Reading

Senate Confirms William Emanuel as NLRB Board Member

On September 25, 2017, the U.S. Senate voted 49-47 to confirm William Emanuel to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) through August 2021.  Once sworn in, Mr. Emanuel will join fellow recently-confirmed Member Marvin Kaplan, along with current NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, to form a three member Republican majority on … Continue Reading

Recently-Released NLRB Advice Memo Favors Reversal of Precedent on Weingarten Rights For Non-Union Workers

On September 7, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) released several advice memoranda issued previously by the Board’s Office of the General Counsel to local field offices.  Advice memos are used by the Board’s General Counsel to guide local offices on Board policy, and may serve to instruct the offices on a … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Says Nurses Not Improperly Denied Weingarten Rights During Peer Review Investigation Interview

One of the long-standing rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) is for union-represented employees to be accompanied by a union representative at workplace investigatory interviews that the employee reasonably believes may result in disciplinary action.  These rights are referred to as “Weingarten” rights after the case, NLRB v. Weingarten, Inc., in which the … Continue Reading

NLRB Provides Useful Guidance on Work Rules Protecting Customer Information

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) clarified when employers may prohibit employees from disclosing sensitive customer information. Unlike many recent NLRB decisions, this one contains some good news for employers. The NLRB recognized that despite recent precedent, employers might still protect certain sensitive customer information. It also shed light on how employers can … Continue Reading

Class Action Waivers: Two More Fifth Circuit Opinions Favor Waivers Over NLRB Challenges

In early August, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued two decisions regarding class and collective action waivers.  Like its earlier decisions in D.R. Horton, Inc. and Murphy Oil USA, Inc., both decisions supported employers’ use of waivers to eliminate group lawsuits against them in employment cases.  The two new cases, … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Reins In NLRB After It Declares Basic Workplace Civility Policies Illegal

As we have reported to you in the past, workplace conduct policies have become a hotbed of trouble due to the NLRB’s recent focus on their potential for chilling union activity. In one such recent action, the NLRB attacked several employee handbook policies of employer T-Mobile USA, Inc./MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (MetroPCS is an affiliate of … Continue Reading

Senate Confirms Trump NLRB Nominee Marvin Kaplan; Delays Confirmation of William Emanuel

On June 19, we predicted that the Trump administration was expected to formally announce attorneys Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel as candidates to fill the two vacant slots on the National Labor Relations Board. As predicted, President Trump did, in fact, nominate Messrs. Kaplan and Emanuel to the Board earlier this summer. The nominations went … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Moves A Step Further Away From Its Current Pro-Union Composition

On July 13, the National Labor Relations Board took another step to shift away from the staunchly pro-union agency that has existed over the last eight years. This occurred when the Senate labor committee considered the nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, whom the Trump Administration had put forward for the two vacant Board … Continue Reading

Federal Court Overturns NLRB, Says Jimmy John’s Employees’ Disloyal Conduct Not Protected 

In a closely-watched case, on July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit refused to enforce a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision in which the Board found MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (“MikLin”), owner of 10 Jimmy John’s franchises in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, violated the National Labor Relations Act … Continue Reading

Hearing Set Before Senate Committee on NLRB Nominations

Updating our June 19 post, as expected, President Trump nominated Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to fill the two currently-vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board.  A hearing on their nominations is now scheduled for July 13 before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee.  If recommended by the HELP committee, the nominees … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Ruling on Workplace Recording Policy Survives Appellate Court Review

Like many employers, Whole Foods maintained a policy that prohibited employees from making audio or video recordings at work.  The purpose of the policy, as explained by Whole Foods, was not to stifle employees, but rather to promote open communications by allowing employees to speak freely without concern of being secretly recorded.  In 2015, the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Joins Two Sister Circuits In Holding That Class Action Waivers In Employment Arbitration Agreements Violate National Labor Relations Act

Court joins Seventh and Ninth Circuits in holding that employer’s requiring employees to waive class and collective action procedures as a condition of employment is unenforceable, but issue will be resolved late this year by United States Supreme Court The issue of whether an employer can require, as a condition of employment, that an employee … Continue Reading

NLRB Rules That Barring A Former Hotel Employee Who Sued Her Employer From The Premises Is An Unfair Labor Practice

On May 16, 2017, a two-member majority (Members McFerran and Pearce) of the National Labor Relations Board held that it was an unfair labor practice for the Grand Sierra Resort &Casino (GSR) to bar a former employee from its premises after she filed a class and collective action lawsuit against the employer.… Continue Reading

NLRB Will Not Hack Into Prior Decision Regarding Employee Email Use During Non-Work Time

Network security and protection of confidential information are among the reasons many companies place limits on how and when employees may use company-provided email.  However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has largely ignored if not outright rejected these legitimate concerns, finding that under certain circumstances, they are outweighed by employees’ right to … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Decision Regarding NLRB Workplace Investigation Confidentiality Policies Fails To Answer Critical Question For Employers

In 2015, we reported to you about the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in the Banner Estrella Medical Center case, which placed significant limits on employers’ ability to request employee confidentiality during workplace investigations. As a reminder, in the Banner case, the NLRB found that Banner Estrella maintained a policy of instructing employees involved in … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reins in Administrative Overreaching of NLRB

On March 21, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one-time acting National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Lafe Solomon improperly served as the agency’s Acting General Counsel while he awaited U.S. Senate confirmation to a permanent appointment, upholding a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruling that most of his three-year tenure … Continue Reading

NLRB Acting Chair Dissent Opinions Indicate A Shift Back to Pro-Employer Decisions

The NLRB was intended to be an unbiased arbiter of labor disputes, ensuring workers were protected from unfair labor practices. As we have seen in previous blogs, in the past several years, the NLRB has been unapologetically pro-union. President Trump’s appointment of Philip A. Miscimarra, a tenured board member who has been a tireless advocate … Continue Reading

Missouri Becomes 28th State to Pass Right-to-Work Law    

On February 6, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed into law SB 19, making Missouri the 28th state to adopt right-to-work legislation.  The law goes into effect on August 28, 2017, and provides that no employee may be required as a condition of employment or continued employment to become a member of a union or to … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court to Resolve Dispute Over Enforceability of Class Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

  As followers of our blog know, we have been closely watching developments over the past few years involving the tension between the National Labor Relations Board and the courts concerning whether arbitration agreements that require employees to resolve most employment-related disputes in individual arbitration proceedings, and bar the use of class or collective action … Continue Reading

A Last Hurrah?  NLRB Majority Elevates Form over Substance to Give Union Another Chance After Election Defeat

With a soon-to-be reformulated Board, which will be comprised of a majority of Republican appointees, don’t expect to see decisions like this again anytime soon.  In 2015, the NLRB pushed through changes to its rules governing the secret ballot election process by which employees determine whether they wish to be represented by a labor union.  … Continue Reading
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