Determining How Rude An Employee Can Be to the Boss

Frank Kollman
Frank Kollman
10/29/2019
The National Labor Relations Board recently affirmed a decision that an employee's rudeness and disrespect toward his supervisor (in this case the president of the company) did not necessarily warrant termination if the employee is exercising statutory rights.  Blue Earth Digital Printing, Inc., 31-CA-133542 (2019).  The employee, after a somewhat heated exchange with the employer, said:  “I don’t think that you really care about our jobs or...
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NLRB To Review Successor Rule on Bargaining

Frank Kollman
Frank Kollman
10/25/2019
When a company purchases another company that has a unionized workforce, there are various rules developed by the National Labor Relations Board to decide the status of the union following the purchase.  Generally, the purchaser is not obligated to adopt the Union contract, and it can set whatever rates and benefits it wants for any employees it hires. The purchaser, however, may be obligated to recognize and bargain for a new contract with the...
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NLRB Finds Confidentiality and Media Contact Rules Lawful

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
10/18/2019
As you may recall, under President Obama's National Labor Relations Board, seemingly  innocuous work rules set forth in employee handbooks were routinely struck down as violating Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.  The pendulum has swung the other  way under President Trump's NLRB, as is shown by the Board's recent decision in LA Specialty Produce Company, No. 32-CA-207919 (10/10/19). The case concerned two rules that...
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NLRB Issues New Guidance on Social Media Policies

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
08/28/2019
The Office of the General Counsel to the NLRB recently released an Advice Memorandum shedding new light on the types of social media rules that are permissible in the wake of the Board’s December 2017 ruling in The Boeing Co, 365 NLRB No. 154 (12/17/17).  In that case, the Board set a new standard for evaluating the lawfulness of workplace rules under Section 7 of the NLRA. The Boeing standard weighs the importance of the employee’s exercise of...
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NLRA Does Not Protect Employee’s Wrongful Access Of Confidential Data

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
07/22/2019
Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employees have the right to discuss their wages with colleagues.  The NLRA does not give employees who surreptitiously access wage data the right to discuss that information with colleagues, however.  In an advice memorandum released July 16, the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel provides a reminder that employees who cross the line by improperly obtaining wage...
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NLRB Restores Independent Contractor Analysis

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
01/29/2019
This past Friday, the National Labor Relations Board, in 3-1 decision, revitalized the importance of “entrepreneurial opportunity” in the analysis of whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., 367 NLRB No. 75 (Jan. 25, 2019).  The distinction between employee and independent contractor status is important, because the former is protected by the NLRA...
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Now Where Did I Put Those Confidential Documents?

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
01/13/2019
Note:  This is a story about an employment issue at the NLRB.  Apropos of nothing perhaps, the NLRB has been open throughout the Government Shutdown, while the EEOC has been closed. We all misplace stuff, right?  I found my car keys right where I left them.  And my glasses were right on my forehead, which my wife pointed out to me.   But, in 34 years of law practice, I have never misplaced (read “lost”) confidential documents. I do recall...
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NLRB's Office of General Counsel Issues More Advice Memoranda

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
10/11/2018
On September 14, 2018, the NLRB's Office of General Counsel (OGC) issued a handful of advice memos, several of which are summarized here: The misclassification of employees as independent contractors violates the NLRA because misclassification has and will operate as a restraint on, and interference with, the individuals' exercise of their Section 7 rights.   Telemundo Television Studios, LLC (June 13, 2017). Just like employees, independent...
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Union Threatens Strike over Marriott’s Green Initiative

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/19/2018
News reports on virtually everything over the past week (ok, more like nearly two years) has me shaking my head at the “crazy town” world we find ourselves living in.  I have restrained myself from writing blogs about the various things I regularly find absurd, largely because it would consume more time than I have.  But reports coming out over the past few days about the strike vote taken by UNITE HERE housekeeping employees at Marriott put me...
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NLRB Proposes Joint-Employer Standard Rule

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
09/14/2018
Today, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) to establish the standard for finding that one entity is a joint employer with another entity.  Under the proposed rule, an employer may be a joint-employer of another employer’s employees “only if [1] it possesses and exercises direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and [2] has done so in a manner...
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