Total Articles: 11
Fisher Phillips • May 17, 2019
An advice memorandum just released by the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s office could be the beginning of the end for “Scabby the Rat,” “Corporate Fat Cat,” and similar oversized balloons often employed by unions to exert pressure on neutral employers as part of secondary picketing actions. The Board’s counsel recommended in a May 14 release that the NLRB reverse several Obama-era decisions that permitted the use of such balloons, as well as the erection of stationary banners, as lawful non-picketing secondary activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). If the current Board follows the recommendation contained in the advice memo, businesses will have a valuable tool to help them with such union confrontations.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 19, 2019
Employers have at least one way to rid themselves of Scabby the Rat, a staple of labor union protest, following a decision from a federal appeals court upholding an ordinance enacted by the Town of Grand Chute, Wisconsin, banning anything placed on a public right-of-way that might obstruct vision or distract passing drivers. Construction & Gen. Laborers’ Union 330 v. Town of Grand Chute, No. 18-1739 (7th Cir. Feb. 14, 2019). The Seventh Circuit has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 04, 2019
“Scabby the Rat” reared its inflatable rodent head last month in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In Constr. & Gen. Laborers’ Union 330 v. Town of Grand Chute, No. 18-1739 (7th Cir. Feb. 14, 2019), the appellate court held that a Grand Chute, Wisconsin zoning ordinance banning all private signs on public rights-of-way permitted town officials to order Local 330 of the Construction and General Laborers’ Union to deflate the labor icon without violating the union’s First Amendment rights. This ruling creates a glimmer of hope for employers in what has otherwise been a frustrating and ineffective battle to curb an annoying union tactic.
Ogletree Deakins • February 26, 2019
Construction employers and general contractors are all too familiar with Scabby the Rat. The inflatable rat—appearing in sizes of up to a reported 30 feet tall—has infested construction job sites as part of trade union protest activities targeting employers that are not signatory to union labor agreements.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 22, 2018
In a ruling that may affect many industries, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that a group of subcontracted janitors in San Francisco were justifiably fired after engaging in secondary picketing at the building where they worked. Preferred Building Services, Inc., 366 NLRB No. 159 (Aug. 28, 2018). The Board ruled the employees engaged in conduct unprotected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when they urged the building’s tenants to “take responsibility” and help improve the janitors’ working conditions. The Board said the workers essentially were pressuring the building to cease doing business with their employer.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 10, 2016
An employer’s ability to prohibit picketing on its property was dealt a serious blow when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ruled in Capital Medical Center that an acute care hospital violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act when it sought to prevent off-duty employees from picketing on hospital property by threatening the picketers with discipline and calling the police on them.
Ogletree Deakins • October 06, 2016
In Capital Medical Center 364 NLRB No. 69 (August 12, 2016), a majority of the Board recently concluded that a hospital violated Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA, by threatening to discipline and arrest picketers and by summoning the police to its facility when the hospital failed to prove that the picketing disrupted patient care. The Board issued an order prospectively enjoining such threats and calls for police intervention.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 28, 2016
In a groundbreaking expansion of union rights, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that off-duty employees have the right to picket on an employer’s premises, unless the employer can prove under the National Labor Relations Act that a ban on picketing was necessary to prevent a disruption of health care operations. Capital Medical Center, 364 NLRB No. 69 (Aug. 12, 2016).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 30, 2016
The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently addressed hospital employers’ ability to prohibit picketing by off-duty employees on their own premises. Although the Board concluded that a hospital employer may lawfully ban off-duty employees from picketing on its premises when picketing would disturb patients or disrupt health care operations, the Board offered hospital employers little guidance as to the evidence necessary to support such a ban.
Ogletree Deakins • December 20, 2010
The National Labor Relations Board has issued an order accepting as “the law of the case” a 2009 decision by the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in which, drawing a distinction between picketing and striking, that Court held that a New York health clinic unlawfully fired five employees for joining a picket line, even though the picketing itself was an unfair labor practice by the union. Correctional Medical Services, Inc, 356 N.L.R.B. No. 48, December 9, 2010.
Ogletree Deakins • June 30, 2009
Drawing a distinction between picketing and striking, the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a New York health clinic unlawfully fired five employees for joining a picket line, even though the picketing itself was an unfair labor practice by the union.