Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
3

17 Aug 2018 When Do Employee Weingarten Rights Kick In?

Since the landmark Weingarten U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1975, union-represented employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) have been entitled to union representation during certain investigatory interviews. Specifically, when an employee is brought in for an investigatory interview that could lead to disciplinary action of that employee, he or she has the right to a union representative being present for the interview as well, if such representation is requested. This has come…

READ MORE
3

14 Aug 2018 NLRB To Renegotiate … Its Own CBA!

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) oversees the vast majority of private sector labor relations in the U.S., including alleged wrongdoing during collective bargaining negotiations between employers and their unions.  Many people, however, are unaware of the fact that many NLRB staffers are themselves members of a union and have their own collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the agency.   According to a new report from Bloomberg BNA, the agency is poised to renegotiate its…

READ MORE
2

09 Aug 2018 No Soliciting: Employer Solicitation Ban Ruled Unlawful

Many employers have policies in place that prohibit employees from soliciting other workers for third party causes and/or distributing non-business literature. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that such policies conform to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Generally, under the NLRA, companies may not prohibit employees from soliciting other workers during non-working time, nor may they prohibit the distribution of literature in non-work areas during non-working time. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)…

READ MORE
1

08 Aug 2018 Dinged For Doing The Right Thing: NLRB Says Employer Must Produce Names Of Witnesses In Harassment Investigation

The situation is a common one. An employer conducts an investigation into allegations that an employee sexually harassed another employee. The employer interviews a number of witnesses, including the alleged victim and harasser, and a disciplinary decision is made. In some workplaces, the hard work is over once the investigation is complete, but with a union, the hard work is yet to come.   Those are the basic facts of American Medical Response West, a…

READ MORE
4

02 Aug 2018 Changes Coming to NLRB’s Stance On Company E-Mail Policies?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made waves several years ago when it issued a ruling that declared employers, generally, cannot prohibit employees from using a company’s email system for union organizing purposes or other activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act. The ruling applied to both union and non-union employers. In December of last year, NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb issued a memo indicating that his office may seek to get various board…

READ MORE
2

01 Aug 2018 Moving The Needle: NLRB GC Announces Agency Process Changes

On July 30, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel’s Office issued a memo announcing some potentially significant process changes within the agency. One of the changes involves the establishment of committees within the various NLRB Regions that will be responsible for drafting pre-election decisions. For example, if the parties to a union election dispute the scope of the unit at issue, a designated committee will be responsible for researching the issue and drafting…

READ MORE
3

23 Jul 2018 Don’t Pull The Tapes: Employer Dinged By NLRB For Surveilling Employee Union Activity On Video Archives

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) puts limits on what employers can do if/when their employees express interest in forming a union in the workplace. Generally, employers cannot threaten employees based on their union activity; interrogate workers about their union activity, sentiments, etc.; make promises to employees to induce them to forgo joining a union; or engage in surveillance (i.e., spying) on workers’ union organizing efforts. To the extent an employer violates the NLRA by…

READ MORE
3

12 Jul 2018 Resolution: Labor Board Announces Initiative To Increase ADR Participation

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) launched a formal alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program in 2005. That program entails the use of mediators who assist parties in board proceedings explore resolution options. According to the NLRB’s website, “For parties who have chosen to participate in the ADR program, mediators have assisted parties in reaching settlements in approximately 60% of the cases.  The Board approved the parties’ settlements in each of those cases.”   The board…

READ MORE
4

09 Jul 2018 ‘BIG Little Lies’: Court Upholds Employee Discharge For Dishonesty

A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? That was the philosophy the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appeared to subscribe to last year when it ruled an employer unlawfully discharged an employee for dishonesty because, in the agency’s view, the company had handled terminations for lying inconsistently. That board decision was rendered in Cellco Partnership, 365 NLRB No. 93 (2017).   Fast forward to now. A federal court of appeals reviewed that NLRB order…

READ MORE
3

27 Jun 2018 Headcount Reduction: NLRB Reportedly To Offer Buyouts In Effort To Trim Staff

Following reports earlier this year regarding potential efforts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to reduce headcount, it appears the agency is heading in that direction. According to a new report from Bloomberg BNA, the agency is poised to start offering “buyouts” and early retirement packages to some staffers in the near future.   According to the report: “The move is likely to continue or accelerate the board’s trend toward a smaller footprint. Congress…

READ MORE