The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has asked for the parties and amici to submit briefs answering four questions in a case involving a union’s display of a large inflatable rat, commonly called “Scabby the Rat,” and two large banners on public property near the entrance of a neutral employer’s
Articles Discussing Labor Union Picketing.
A recent Advice Memorandum from the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel’s office (GC Office) has recommended that the Board engage in pest control.
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.
“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.
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.
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).
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.