Executive Summary: Although the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision invalidating the Nation Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) notice posting requirement means that private employers currently are relieved of this obligation, the ruling did not create a reprieve for federal contractors.
Articles Discussing Labor Law At The Federal Level, Including Issues Under The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Watch what you wish for. There is a line in the sand between protected group activity and general “griping.” The distinction is critical, however, as it may spell the difference between unemployment or the impingement upon protected speech. In Tasker Healthcare Group, d/b/a Skinsmart Dermatology, the Charging Party participated in a group message on Facebook in which she utilized some harsh, and very critical language regarding her employment position. The conversation culminated with the charging party’s statements: “FIRE ME … Make my day.” When the employer did just that, the Charging Party unsuccessfully challenged the decision before the NLRB.
Executive Summary: In a 2-1 decision, the Third Circuit has held that the President’s recess appointment of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board was invalid because he was not appointed during an intersession break of Congress as required by the Recess Appointments Clause. Accordingly, the court held that a three-member panel of the Board, which included Becker, could not exercise the Board’s authority, and the court vacated an unfair labor practice decision issued by the panel.
The divergence of opinion between the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has just widened considerably. Three months after the D.C. Circuit ruled that certain board actions were invalid due to constitutionally invalid appointments by President Barack Obama (Noel Canning v. NLRB), the court, in National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB, has invalidated a 2012 board rule providing that: 1) any employers subject to the board’s jurisdiction would be liable for an unfair labor practice if they did not post on their properties and on their websites a “Notification of Employee Rights under the National Labor Relations Act;” 2) the failure to post would toll the six-month statute of limitations for filing an unfair labor practice charge; and 3) the board may consider an employer’s knowing and willing refusal to comply with the posting requirement as “evidence of unlawful motive in a case in which motive is an issue.”
Executive Summary: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the National Labor Relations Board’s rule requiring employers to post a Notice of Employee Rights under the NLRA because it violates employers’ free speech rights. See National Ass’n of Manufacturers v. NLRB (May 7, 2013). The court also found invalid the rule’s provision permitting tolling of the statute of limitations for an unfair labor practice if the employer failed to post the Notice.
On March 28, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in SDBC Holdings Inc. f/k/a Stella D’oro Biscuit Co., Inc. v. NLRB which held that an employer is not obligated to provide a union with copies of a financial statement, unless, it takes the position during bargaining that it is unable to pay any increased wages. This ruling is highly critical of the reasoning used by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It is an important decision for employers in this circuit on the subject of an employer’s duty to provide financial information and on the subject of impasse and implementation of the final offer.
Executive Summary: On the same day as the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals determined President Obama’s recess appointments are unconstitutional, the NLRB continued its assault on workplace rules and employee handbook policies. See DirecTV U.S. Direct Holdings, LLC, 359 NLRB No. 54 (Jan. 25, 2013). Regardless of whether the Board’s decision withstands the D.C. Circuit’s ruling, the case serves as a warning to employers to review their handbooks and other workplace policies to ensure compliance with the Board’s most recent interpretations of the NLRA.
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that President Obama’s recess appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) violated the U.S. Constitution. See Noel Canning v. NLRB, No. 12-1115 (January 25, 2013). While the NLRB likely will appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, if it stands, the decision could mean that hundreds of Board decisions issued over the last year are invalid.
This month represents the first anniversary of the controversial decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in D.R. Horton, Inc. In D.R. Horton, the NLRB ruled that D.R. Horton, a nationwide homebuilder, violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by requiring employees to sign agreements that: 1) contained a mandatory arbitration provision; and 2) required them to bring all employment-related claims to an arbitrator on an individual basis, as opposed to as a potential class action.
Executive Summary: Employers who seek to protect their confidential business information and their reputations by requiring employees to sign employment agreements containing confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses may now face opposition from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In Quicken Loans (January 8, 2013), an ALJ in the NLRB’s Phoenix region held that such clauses violate section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) because they tend to chill employees’ exercise of their Section 7 rights.
Executive Summary: A recent Memorandum issued by the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon may reflect a subtle effort by the Board to encourage the recovery of front pay for individuals claiming they were unlawfully fired or disciplined. GC 13-02, issued January 9, 2013, modifies existing policy to permit Board settlements to include front pay instead of requiring such agreements to be set forth in non-Board “side letters,” which was the prior practice.
On December 13, 2012, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives issued a 33-page report accusing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) of express pro-union bias, pursuing a program of aggressive tactics designed to promote union agendas, making substantive decisions without legal authority, violating its own ethical and procedural rules, and hostility to Congressional oversight. The report, titled “President Obama’s Pro-Union Board: The NLRB’s Metamorphosis from Independent Regulator to Dysfunctional Union Advocate,” can be accessed here. For employers that have been involved in cases brought before NLRB this year, the implications of this report could raise questions about those decisions or even cast them into doubt.
Executive Summary: Citing the Communications Decency Act, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge held that a union that maintained a Facebook page did not have a duty to disavow threatening comments posted by union members.
Executive Summary: Following recent attacks on the employment at-will doctrine by one of the NLRB’s Regions, the Board has stepped its position back somewhat, issuing two Advice Memorandums through its Associate General Counsel. In these opinions, the Board’s Associate General Counsel takes the position that many employment at-will provisions may not violate employees’ Section 7 rights.
Earlier this year, non-union employers (approximately 93% of private industry in the United States) and many labor and employment attorneys were surprised to learn that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) might deem rudimentary employee handbook at-will disclaimer language to violate employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the Act). Employee handbook at-will disclaimers are particularly common in states, like New York, where courts have held that the absence of such provisions helped to create an implied contract that limited the employer’s right to terminate the employee at-will.