The Changed NLRB Reasonably Defines “Change”

By Patrick Scully The new National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) reversed another Obama Board decision on Friday. In Raytheon Company, 365 NLRB No. 161 (December 15, 2017), the Board returned to long standing precedent that the question of whether an employer has made a “change” should take into consideration the employer’s standing practices. […]

NLRB Classifies TAs as Employees

By Bill Wright The NLRB chose not to interfere with collegiate football.  Northwestern University, Case 13-RC-121359 (August 17, 2015).  Collegiate teaching assistants, though, are another thing.  In Columbia University, Case 02-RC-143012 (August 23, 2016), the Board reversed another established precedent to assert that teaching assistants (“TAs”) are “statutory employees” and may choose to have union […]

NLRB Nixes “No Recording” Rule

By Doug Towns & Lori Phillips In Whole Foods Market, Inc., 363 NLRB No. 87 (Dec. 24, 2015), a divided three-member panel of the NLRB ruled that an employer’s blanket rule prohibiting workplace recording of conversations, phone calls, or images with a camera or other recording device, such as a smartphone, without prior management approval […]

Drug Test Entitles Workers to Union Rep

By Andy Volin The NLRB says sending a worker for a drug test is the same as disciplinary action and the worker gets to be accompanied by a Union representative. Manhattan Beer Distribs. LLC, 362 N.L.R.B. No. 192 (August 27, 2015). In this case, a delivery worker had an workplace accident and, the next day, […]

The NLRB Chooses Not to Play

By Bill Wright The NLRB has ruled on the representation petition for Northwestern University student football players. You’ll remember, last year, the NLRB’s Regional Director decided that student athletes who received grant-in-aid athletic scholarships at Northwestern University were actually employees of the university and that they could petition for union representation. The issue went up […]

Common Sense Trumps NLRB, For Once

By Patrick Scully If the NLRB has a consistent adversary, it is common sense. And so, it was a bad sign for the NLRB when the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals began its review of a recent NLRB Order with the following line: “Common sense sometimes matters in resolving legal disputes.” The NLRB […]

NLRB to Re-Hear Labor Arbs

By Bill Wright Another NLRB bombshell. The NLRB used to “defer” statutory issues to arbitration. For example, if an employer and union arbitrated the issue of an employee’s discharge for good cause, the NLRB would not then prosecute an unfair labor practice (“ULP”) charge over whether the discharge was because of protected concerted activity, unless the […]

Employees May Use Email For Union Activity

By Patrick Scully and Beth Ann Lennon The NLRB says its 2007 decision in Register Guard was “clearly incorrect.”  Employers cannot prohibit employee use of employer email for union and other protected communications.  In other words, employer policies that prohibit non-business use of employer email systems are now invalid, absent a showing of “special circumstances”.  […]

Employer Rights Lost in Translation

By Bill Wright A new NLRB matter demonstrates the importance of having bilingual managers for a bilingual staff. The employer addressed union members in the run up to a decertification election. The script called for the COO to warn the employees: “. . . we believe the Union will push you toward a strike. Should […]

Radical Shift Coming In Public Sector Agency Fees

By John Alan Doran Yesterday, the Supreme Court took a swipe at public sector compulsory unionism. In doing so, the Court took a slice out of decades of Supreme Court jurisprudence and suggested a future re-thinking of agency fees in the public sector. In Harris v. Quinn, No. 11-681 (June 30, 2014), Illinois tried to […]