NLRB Finds "At Will" Disclaimers in Employee Handbook to be Legal

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
11/02/2012
On October 31, 2012, the NLRB did something it has not done too often in recent years: it delivered some good news to employers.  In two Memoranda from the Board’s Division of Advice, the Board found “at will” disclaimers  in employee handbooks to be lawful.   In so doing, the Board contrasted the disclaimers with one that was struck down  by an Administrative Law Judge in February. The issue presented by the disclaimers is whether or not...
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NLRB Strikes Down Hotel Rule Limiting Employees’ Off Duty Access

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
10/12/2012
September 28, 2012 was a busy day at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).  Not only did the Board issue its first Facebook ruling (Karl Knauz Motors, Inc.), it also decided it latest case invalidating an employer rule limiting employee access.  In Marriott International, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 8 (2012), the Board ruled that a hotel rule barring off duty employees from returning to the hotel interior or using its facilities without...
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Employer Policy Prohibiting Social Media Use During Company Time Violates the NLRA

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
10/03/2012
The NLRB keeps at it and tells us, once again, that social media policies are almost never going to pass any smell test.  An administrative law judge for the Board issued another decision that seemingly binds the hands of employers who seek to keep their employee productive and focused on work during work time.  In ECHOSTAR, Inc., No. 27-CA-066726 (ALJ Anderson, Sept. 20, 2012),  the ALJ ruled that EchoStar Technologies’ social media policy...
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NLRB Rules Facebook Firing is Legal But Still Strikes Down Employer Policy

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
10/02/2012
On September 28, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued the latest decision in its determined effort to define the permissible scope of social media rules in the workplace.  In Karl Knauz Motors, Inc., 358 NLRB No. 164 (2012), the Board ruled that a BMW dealership did  not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it fired a car salesman for photos and comments posted on his Facebook page.  However, the Board...
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NLRB Extends Protection to Lying and Using Vulgar Language at Work

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
09/28/2012
On September 19, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) continued its assault on an employer’s right to set and enforce reasonable workplace rules.  This time, the target was a mean-spirited employer who had to gall to fire an employee who scrawled profanities on newsletters left in a break room and then lied to an investigator when asked if he had done it.  Because the conduct occurred in the context of a union decertification...
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NLRB Places New Restrictions on Social Media Policies

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
09/14/2012
As readers of this blog know, the National Labor Relations Board’s Acting General Counsel has had employer social media policies in his proverbial crosshairs for the past 18 months. Over that time period, the Acting General Counsel issued three Reports outlining his views on the legality of employer social media policies, generally finding them to be unlawful when the policy used generalized language to prohibit employees from making critical...
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What Did You Learn in School Today Johnny? Oh, That’s Right, There’s No School...

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/12/2012
So, school is out for children in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) - the nation’s third largest school district - and it looks like it will be for the foreseeable future. The Chicago Teachers Union continues to strike and has stated that, despite the offer of a huge 16% pay increase over four years, the parties are far apart in reaching a contract. It has been 25 years since there was a teacher strike in Chicago. Even more interesting, the union...
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NLRB Prohibits Employer from Disciplining Employees for Discussing Workplace Investigation

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
08/01/2012
Many employers tell employees who participate in investigations into workplace misconduct that they cannot discuss the investigation with co-workers while the investigation is ongoing. The rationale behind such rules is that it protects the integrity of the investigation and prevents witness collusion. Unfortunately, a recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) held that such a rule violates the National Labor Relations Act...
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Will the NLRB Revisit Yeshiva in Faculty Unionization Effort?

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
07/07/2012
By Darrell R. VanDeusen In 1980, the Supreme Court held that faculty members at private universities typically cannot organize and form a union under the National Labor Relations Act.  NLRB v. Yeshiva University,444 U.S. 672 (1980).  Whether this is the view of the Obama NLRB will be vetted in the coming months as interested parties have filed amicus briefs with the Board in Point Park Univ., No. 6-RC-12276, a representation case challenging...
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UAW Is Alright, Jack

Peter Saucier
Peter Saucier
07/01/2012
By Peter S. Saucier General Motors operated a plant in Moraine, Ohio, where it inherited the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE) as part of a conversion from a Frigidaire plant to a truck manufacturer in 1981. Through the automobile crisis of 2007-08, the IUE worked with GM and cooperated with every plan, well before the United Auto Workers (UAW) ever did. Still, the Moraine plant suspended operations. As GM used tax recovery money to...
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