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Labor Board Allows Evidence to Explain Employee Handbook Ban on Video Recording

The National Labor Relations Board has denied a motion for summary judgment by the NLRB’s General Counsel in a case involving Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc.’s maintenance of an employee handbook rule prohibiting the use of cameras and video recording devices without prior approval.

President to Nominate Republican Attorneys to Fill Labor Board Vacancies

Attorneys Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel will be nominated by President Donald J. Trump to fill the two openings on the five-member National Labor Relations Board, according to the Daily Labor Report. Trump plans to nominate Kaplan and Emanuel by June, following completion of their FBI background checks.

Second Circuit Rules on Bounds of Protected Concerted Activity

In a case at the edges of protected employee conduct during a union organizing drive, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last week found that an employee’s expletive-laden Facebook post cursing out his boss—and his boss’s mother, too—was within the “outer bounds” of “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In addition to making moms everywhere upset so close to Mother’s Day, the court’s decision highlighted the wide latitude given to employee speech, especially when in the heated midst of a unionization campaign.

Employee's Right to a Witness

Like a tennis match, an employee’s right to a witness during an employer’s investigatory interview has bounced back and forth over the years. This month the National Labor Relations Board confirmed that a non-union employee does not have the right to the presence of a witness when interviewed by her or his employer during an investigation.

In Fastest Elections, Union Victory Rate Soars

Unions fare better in the quickest elections under the National Labor Relations Board’s April 2015 “quickie” election rules, according to a Bloomberg BNA report. Unions have continued to win elections about 67 percent of the time overall since the implementation of the rules, according to the report. However, two years after the rules went into effect, in the fastest elections (i.e., those with less than two weeks between petition and the vote), the union “win rate” jumps to a staggering 82 percent.

NLRB Won’t Create Rule Extending to Nonunion Workers Right to Have Union Rep at Disciplinary Interview

The National Labor Relations Board has decided not to exercise its discretionary authority to engage in rulemaking at this time to reverse the Board’s decision in IBM Corp., 341 NLRB 1288 (2004), and extend Weingarten rights to nonunion employees.

!@#$% Vote Yes for the UNION! Facebook Post Protected by the NLRA? Second Circuit Says Yes

In National Labor Relations Board v. Pier Sixty, LLC, No. 15-1841 (April 21, 2017), the Second Circuit upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) finding that an employee’s Facebook post, although “vulgar and inappropriate,” did not exceed the National Labor Relations Act’s (NLRA) protection. The court cautioned, however, that the claimant’s conduct sits at the “outer-bounds of protected, union-related comments.”

New NLRB Chairman Dissented from Controversial Decisions

Philip Miscimarra was named Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board by President Trump on April 24, 2017. He had been named Acting Chairman soon after President Trump’s inauguration.

On the Front Lines (No. 5, May 2017)

Labor Board Finds Nothing Special About Burger Chain’s Uniforms

Spending Bill Leaves NLRB Budget Unchanged From 2016, Nixes Electronic Voting

The National Labor Relations Board’s wish that its budget for fiscal year 2017 be increased over its FY 2016 budget apparently will not be granted.