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Employers may not like NLRB General Counsel report on handbook rules

As we have previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board in recent years has put employee handbooks and policy manuals under a magnifying glass, searching for any provision that might, in its view, violate the NationalDavid-Phippen.jpeg Labor Relations Act.

Budget Hearing Focuses on Recent NLRB Actions

On March 24, the National Labor Relation Board’s Chairman Mark Pearce and General Counsel Richard Griffin, Jr. came under fire from a sharply divided group of House members during a budget subcommittee hearing. Members pressed Griffin and Pearce on the recent string of NLRB policies that will have a significant impact on labor policy and the ability of employers to manage their businesses.

NLRB General Counsel’s report on employee handbook rules provides some guidance . . . but employers may not like it

As we have previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board in recent years has put employee handbooks and policy manuals under a magnifying glass, searching for any provision that might, in its view, violate the National Labor Relations Act. Last week, apparently after hearing from labor law practitioners that guidance was needed, NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr., issued a report attempting to explain several years of Board decisions and positions taken by his office. His stated goal was “to offer guidance on . . . this evolving area of labor law, with hope that it will help employers to review their handbooks and other rules, and conform them, if necessary, to ensure that they are lawful.”

eLABORate: NLRB General Counsel Issues Guidance on Employee Handbook Provisions to Address "Evolving" Area of Law

The general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently issued guidance for employers in crafting employee handbook provisions that will withstand Board scrutiny in the wake of a recent settlement of an unfair labor practice charge against Wendy’s International LLC. The 30-page report, which addresses what the general counsel describes as an “evolving area of labor law,” attempts to clarify the types of policies that the general counsel believes may have a chilling effect on employees’ concerted activities protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). If the report makes one thing clear, it is that many common, longstanding, and seemingly benign policies maintained by employers throughout the country may need to be reexamined for compliance.

NLRB Offers Guidance on Employer Handbook Policies

Over the past several years, employers have struggled to reconcile handbook and other personnel policies with decisions of the National Labor Relations Board. Drawing lines more nice than obvious, the NLRB has invalidated many common handbook policies under the theory they interfere with employee rights to engage in protected, concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Last week, in an effort to inject clarity into a muddled area of law, NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin issued a memorandum (GC Memo) comparing and contrasting lawful and unlawful employer policies and offering insight into the NLRB’s decision-making rationale.

New Bills Address Micro Units, Whistleblowing, Comp Time

Labor and employment-related bills are once again becoming popular at the federal level. With less than a month before the April 14 effective date of the National Labor Relations Board's "ambush" election rule, and the same day the House approved a resolution to try to stop the rule's implementation, lawmakers are attempting to shape labor-management relations through other means.

Unions Receive Holiday Gift From Board

In December, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) overturned a 2007 decision and held that employee use of company email for union and other protected communications on non-working time must be permitted by employers who give employees access to company email. The Board’s key argument is that in today’s industrial world, email has become a key communication tool in the workplace.

NLRB General Counsel Issues Guidance to Employers on ‘Chilling Effects’ of Personnel Policies under National Labor Relations Act

In its bid to make the National Labor Relations Act more relevant, especially to unrepresented employees who comprise a large majority of the nation’s workforce, the National Labor Relations Board is policing aggressively employee handbooks and other employer policies that it believes “chill” employee rights under the NLRA. Following a number of recent NLRB decisions focusing on the lawfulness of employer rules/policies, the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel has issued guidance for the stated purpose of assisting employers in reviewing internal personnel policies to ensure compliance with the NLRA. Memorandum GC 15-04 was released to the public on March 18, 2015.

Preventive Strategies First Quarter 2015

A bulletin on employment, labor, benefits and immigration law for employers.

Congress Has Spoken, Mr. President: No "Quickie" Union Elections

In the words of House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-MN, “Today, Congress voted to stop an unelected board of bureaucrats from trampling on the rights of America’s workers and job creators.”