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21 Feb 2014 A Rare Facebook “Like” for Employers: NLRB Overturns ALJ, Finds Lack of Evidence to Support Facebook Post as Protected Activity

The NLRB granted an unusual win for the employer last week in a case involving Facebook posts and potential protected activity. In World Color (USA) Corp., 360 NLRB No. 37 (Feb. 12, 2014), the Board found that there was not enough evidence in the record to determine whether an employee’s Facebook posts, allegedly critical of the employer and containing comments about the union, were protected activity. Accordingly, an allegedly interfering/coercive comment made by a supervisor…

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20 Feb 2014 NLRB Weekly Summary of Decisions – Feb. 3-7, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a weekly summary of decisions for the week of: Feb. 3-7, 2014. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website or by clicking on the links that we’ve provided our readers with below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for Feb. 3-7, 2014. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed by the labor law attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. The…

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19 Feb 2014 Not So Final and Binding – The NLRB Proposes Changes to Arbitration Deferral Policy

On Feb. 7, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board invited parties to submit comments on its deferral to arbitration standard. While reported and discussed in some outlets, the significance of this development may not be fully appreciated. The change being suggested by the NLRB could significantly impact what “final and binding” arbitration will mean. It appears the NLRB is very serious about narrowing the standard under which it will defer to an arbitration award, proposing to…

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13 Feb 2014 Northwestern Football and the NLRB: Hearing Start This Week

The Chicago Tribune is reporting this morning that the hearing has started on whether football players at Northwestern University can be members of a union and be recognized under the National Labor Relations Act. The Tribune story can be accessed online here.   The issue of course is whether the players can be categorized as employees under the NLRA. The University and the NCAA are arguing that the players are students and not employees and…

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11 Feb 2014 NLRB At It Again: Another Confidentiality Policy Bites the Dust

The NLRB has struck down another confidentiality policy. In this particular case, the company fired an employee based upon its good faith belief that the employee improperly accessed company files to ascertain the salary information for a company executive and then shared that information with co-workers. The Board rejected the company’s basis for termination and upheld the ALJ’s conclusion that the misconduct had not taken place. Rather, the Board found that an employer’s handbook policy…

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11 Feb 2014 Is the NLRB Seeking to Expand its Jurisdiction Over Religious Universities?

In what may signal another attempt by the NLRB to expand its jurisdiction, the Board yesterday invited briefs from the public on two issues dealing with its jurisdiction over religiously affiliated institutions and whether certain faculty members at a university are employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act. [A copy of the Board’s invitation is available here.] The first issue may have ominous overtones for religiously affiliated colleges and universities which are already engaged…

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07 Feb 2014 NLRB Weekly Summary of Decisions – Jan. 27-31, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a weekly summary of decisions for the week of: Jan. 27-31, 2014. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website or by clicking on the links that we’ve provided our readers with below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for Jan. 27-31, 2014. Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan…

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05 Feb 2014 NLRB Re-Issues “Quickie Election” Rules: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Yogi Berra coined the phrase “It’s déjà vu all over again” and today, as the NLRB has re-issued its “Quickie Election” Rules, Yogi could not have been more correct.     In a press release dated Feb. 4, 2014, but circulated early today, the Board announced that a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will appear in the Federal Register tomorrow setting forth the Board’s latest effort to amend its rules to speed up the Board election…

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31 Jan 2014 Public Sector Right to Work Issue in Michigan Elevates to State High Court

Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court decided it would hear the State Employees Association and United Auto Workers Appeal of the August 2013 decision of the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals decision held, contrary to the Union litigant’s arguments, that Michigan’s Right to Work Law applies to the State’s 35,000 workers. The Union litigants had argued that Michigan’s Constitution reserved the right to set employment conditions for state employees to the State Civil Service Commission….

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29 Jan 2014 A “Hail Mary”? Northwestern Student-Athletes File Union Petition with the NLRB

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, a group of college football players for Northwestern University filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asking that they be represented by a labor union. Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter announced that the union seeking to represent the players is the College Athletes Players Association, which is backed by the United Steelworkers Union. This case raises a very interesting labor issue: Are student-athletes “employees” under the National…

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