NLRB Outlines Covid-19 Factors Warranting Mail-Ballot Elections

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/12/2020
Mail ballots.  Those two little words have made big headlines lately, even in the world of labor law.  As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to roll on, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) issued a decision outlining six specific factors that Regional Directors (RDs) should consider in deciding whether to hold mail-ballot elections or manual elections.  Aspirus Keweenaw, Case 18-RC-263185 (11/9/20).     The underlying facts involve the...
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NLRB Proposes Changes To Excelsior Lists

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/29/2020
In Excelsior Underwear, 156 NLRB 1236 (1966), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) first required employers to provide unions with the names and home addresses of eligible voters in advance of representation elections. This list of voters became known as an Excelsior list.  In 2014, the NLRB expanded the information required to be on Excelsior lists to include all available personal email addresses and cell phone numbers. On Tuesday, July 29,...
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Wright Line is Baaaaaaaack. No More Cussin’ Folks.

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
07/22/2020
One of the first cases I worked on as a baby lawyer involved a guy who was fired for cussing out his supervisor.  The employee’s union claimed that it was really because of his protected union activity; he was simply disagreeing with his boss.  Colorfully.  Very colorfully.  I was tasked to figure out whether the company should rescind the termination.  The answer was no:  the “Wright Line” test (based on the NLRB’s decision in Wright...
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NLRB Ordered To Consider NLRA’s Conflict With Anti-Discrimination Laws

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/06/2020
Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”  Section 8(a)(1) of the Act protects these rights by making it an unfair labor practice for an employer “to...
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NLRB Reverses Course on Legality of Investigation Gag Orders

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
12/19/2019
Employers have a legitimate interest in investigating allegations of employee misconduct.  It seems obvious that a certain amount of confidentiality is required to maintain the integrity of those workplace investigations.  Otherwise, investigations may be hindered.  Parties may be coached or discuss ahead of time what they will say, accusers may openly discuss complaints and try to influence others to provide corroboration, employees...
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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

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
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

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
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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