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06 May 2016 Don’t Gamble With Your Email Policy

In what is one of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) first applications of the Purple Communications decision, NLRB administrative law judge (ALJ) Mara-Louise Anzalone has struck down an email policy at the Rio All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas.   The hotel’s employee handbook contained a policy entitled “Use of Company Systems, Equipment, and Resources.”  It stated in relevant part:   Computer resources may not be used to: Commit, aid or abet in the commission…

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04 Sep 2015 Employers Take Note: Just in Time for Labor Day NLRB Issues Multiple Decisions That Significantly Erode Many Employer Interests

The NLRB continues to take aim at and significantly erode employer interests. In just the past the past few weeks the NLRB has issued decisions:   Further undermining employer investigations by finding that even a “recommendation” of confidentiality in such circumstances violated Section 7   Throwing out an employer policy related to company confidential information and also finding its no-photograph policy violated Section 7   Impairing the future effectiveness of unionized employer drug testing policies…

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20 May 2015 NLRB Continues Assault On Employer Arbitration Agreements

On Monday, May 18, an administrative law judge (ALJ) for the National Labor Relations Board held a company violated the National Labor Relations Act by creating an arbitration program that effectively precluded employees from bringing class action lawsuits against the employer. Interestingly, the arbitration agreement at issue was silent on whether employees “waived” their ability to bring class action lawsuits against the company – unlike other agreements found unlawful by the Board that contained express…

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07 May 2015 NO PIN POLICY VIOLATES NLRA

The NLRB last week struck down a company’s policy which prohibited the wearing of pins, insignia or other image clothing finding that the policy violated Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA.   Boch Imports, Inc.’s policy stated:  “Employees who have contact with the public may not wear pins, insignias or other message clothing.”  The employer justified the policy on the grounds that it was to prevent injury to employees and damage to vehicles.  Specifically, the employer…

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19 Mar 2015 NLRB General Counsel Issues Comprehensive Report on Handbook Rules

Yesterday, the NLRB’s General Counsel, Richard F. Griffin, issued a report addressing the legality of employer handbook policies under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. While Griffin concedes that he does not believe employers generally write their handbook provisions to purposefully restrict the exercise of Section 7 rights, his report makes it clear that the legality/illegality of handbook rules will continue to be a NLRB priority.  The report reminds employers, unions and disgruntled…

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20 Feb 2015 Non-Union Employers Beware: The NLRB Outlaws Employer’s Questions Regarding Supervisor’s Performance

Most employers probably believe it is acceptable to ask questions of employees about their and other employee’s views of their supervisor’s performance. The proposition seems common-sense and straight forward enough. However, the NLRB apparently disagrees.   The case of Grand Canyon Education, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 13 (Feb. 2, 2015) proves, once again, a disconnect between rather common employer practices and the NLRB efforts to zealously protect Section 7 rights. In this case, the Board…

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20 Jan 2015 DC CIRCUIT OVERTURNS NLRB ON COMPANY ONLY HAT RULE

In a short and sweet decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has overturned an NLRB decision that that declared a “company hat only” policy to be violative of employee Section 7 rights. Quad Graphics, a subsidiary of World Color (USA) Corp., prohibits employees from wearing any baseball caps except for caps bearing the company logo. The Teamsters took issue with the policy and filed an unfair labor practice charge against…

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11 Dec 2014 NLRB HACKS EMAIL SYSTEMS OF EVERY BUSINESS IN THE U.S.

Earlier today, the NLRB reversed existing precedent and granted all employees the right to use their employer’s email systems for union organizing and other forms of protected concerted activity. In Purple Communications, Inc., the employer’s policy limited employee use of its email and other electronic systems to “business purposes only” and “specifically prohibit[ing]” certain uses by employees. While the employer had a policy that all parties acknowledged complied with existing law, the Board  reversed course, declaring…

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06 Oct 2014 Another One Bites the Dust: NLRB Now Rules Certain “No-Disruption Rules” Are Unlawful

  We’ve all seen the immense scrutiny coming down on employer personnel policies by the NLRB in recent years, and a new “no-no” as far as the Board is concerned can be added to the list: “no workplace disruption policies.” In Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 43 (2014), the NLRB took a look at a hearing impaired communication services company that maintained a rule that prohibited employees from “Causing, creating, or participating in a…

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18 Jun 2014 NLRB General Counsel Pushes for Broader Access to Employer E-Mail Systems

  NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin pushed onward this week with his stated agenda of overturning prior NLRB precedent to legitimize employee use of company email systems for union organizing activity as well as other protected concerted activities.   On Monday of this week, the General Counsel filed his brief in the Purple Communications case now pending before the Board. In that brief, Griffin called for the Board to overturn its previous decision in Register-Guard…

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