In still another break with long-standing precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has once again eased the way for union organizing – this time for unions seeking to organize faculty at private sector universities and colleges. In Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157 (December 2014), the Board adopted a new standard for determining when faculty may be considered to be “managerial employees,” which in turn critically impacts whether they may be subject to unionization.
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Yesterday, December 15, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board issued its Final Rule amending election procedures in what most observers are calling the “Quickie Election” Rule. Once the rule becomes effective in April, elections will be held approximately 10 to 21 days after a union election petition has been filed – with profound consequences for non-union employers.
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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently decided that employees must presumptively be permitted to use their employer’s e-mail system, during non-working time, to communicate with each other about workplace issues, including but not limited to union organizing efforts.
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Mainstream media, attorneys, and business owners are discussing the meaning and impact of a two paragraph press release issued by the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is the “prosecuting arm” of the NLRB. In the press release, the General Counsel indicated he has authorized the issuance of unfair labor practice (ULP) complaints against franchisor McDonald’s USA, LLC for the actions of its franchisees.
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Yep, that’s right. The employee’s outburst is too obscene to reproduce on the Blog, but suffice to say that the employee, who was employed for only about two months: (1) called the owner of the company a crook and a number of other colorful names; (2) the attack was personal and contained a veiled threat; and (3) was described as “physically aggressive” by a Board Administrative Law Judge. Should be enough to get you fired, right? Not with this Board.
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Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court unanimously found that President Obama acted unconstitutionally when he made several recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in 2012. The Court, in an Opinion authored by Justice Breyer, affirmed (albeit for differing reasons) the January 2013 judgment by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
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As we previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board has thrown down some pretty significant roadblocks for employers attempting to conduct thorough and actionable internal investigations. The Board continued those efforts recently when it declared that an employer’s request that a union-covered employee sign his own witness statement at the conclusion of an interview

Stop me if you have heard this one, an employee was upset about his pay rate…

Seriously, an employee upset about his pay was at the heart of a recent decision issued by the National Labor Relations Board that explored the protections afforded by the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). The employee in question was hired to perform waterproofing duties on a project at a university in Ohio. The project was a public project, and therefore, it was covered by the applicable prevailing wage laws. The employee, however, was not happy about the prevailing wage rate that he received on the project, and essentially complained about his wage rate throughout the entire time he spent working on the project. In fact, as the foreman testified, the employee complained about basically everything during his brief tenure with the employer.
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