Earlier this year, we brought news that the DOL had revised its regulations applicable to home health care workers. Those regulations, which related to domestic workers who provide “companionship services,” narrowed significantly the classes of workers who were exempt from the minimum wage and overtime protections of the FLSA by removing the ability of home health care agencies to claim … Continue Reading
The National Labor Relations Board continues to infiltrate the workplace even where there are no unions. Standard workplace policies — including those relating to employee conduct, protecting intellectual property, use of personal electronics, and conflicts of interest — are unlawful, according to a recent memorandum issued by the NLRB General Counsel. Basic contract and policy provisions requiring employees to maintain … Continue Reading
Few can quibble with the fact that 2015 has been a busy year for employment law. From historic pronouncements of the Supreme Court concerning fundamental and civil rights, to the Department of Labor’s release of guidance to curb misclassification and proposed new regulations to update the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemptions, to the General Counsel of the National … Continue Reading
Employers and other stakeholders have just a few weeks in which to provide input on proposed regulations which would raise the salary threshold for workers exempt from overtime to $50,440 a year. On July 6, 2015 the Department of Labor proposed new regulations which would result in extending overtime pay to an estimated five million workers. The regulations would tie … Continue Reading
On July 15, 2015, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor declared that most workers who are classified as independent contractors are actually employees and cited the erroneous designation of employees as independent contractors to be “one of the most serious problems” at workplaces in the United States. The DOL issued an “Administrator’s Interpretation” that … Continue Reading
A federal judge in Texas recently rejected a challenge to the NLRB’s “quickie” election rules that went into effect on April 14, 2015. One of the significant changes resulting from the enactment of the new rules is the shortening of the timeline for union elections, which the NLRB asserts “modernize[s] the representation case process and fulfill[s] the promise of … Continue Reading
A reminder to employers concerned about employees’ discussing their wages or acting in concert to petition for higher wages: This is legally protected activity that employers cannot prohibit or restrain. A recent National Labor Relations Board decision involving a Chipotle restaurant chain in Missouri illustrates this point.… Continue Reading
Employers beware! Although the Board’s attempt to require employers to post a notice of employees’ federal rights has been defeated, the agency remains active in its regulation of the non-union workplace. The Board now has a full complement of members, with a Democratic majority, and is posed to continue to render decisions that will impact all places of work.
Too … Continue Reading
The Senate confirmed all five of the President’s nominees to serve as National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) members on July 30, 2013. This gives the Board a full complement of Senate-confirmed members for the first time in a decade.
The Board now includes Democrats Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, whose term was set to expire in August, Kent Hirozawa, … Continue Reading
Employers must ensure that their email policies advise employees of the appropriate use of email. Likewise, employers must enforce appropriate use policies in a consistent matter. However, employers do not have unfettered discretion to discipline employees for “inappropriate” email content. In a recent ruling, the NLRB found that an employer had committed an unfair labor practice when disciplining employees … Continue Reading
The “Facebook Firing” cases continue with the NLRB deciding more often than not that employees fired for Facebook postings engaged in “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and are entitled to reinstatement.
However, a break from the typical outcome occurred in May, 2013, when an NLRB Associate Counsel sent an Advice Memorandum to his Regional Director … Continue Reading
In a memorandum dated January 29, 2013, but made public on April 16, 2013, the NLRB’s Office of General Counsel, while confirming that an employer’s blanket confidentiality rule, which precludes employees from disclosing information about ongoing investigations into employee misconduct, is unlawfully overbroad under the Board’s decision in Banner Health, 358 NLRB No. 93 (2012), held that an employer’s … Continue Reading
Recently, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision in Quicken Loans, Inc., which found confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions to be unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The decision is not surprising, and is in accord with the trend of the NLRB to find common employer conditions to violate the … Continue Reading
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order on January 25, 2013, which struck, as unconstitutional, President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Noel Canning v. NLRB (Case No. 12-1115) Typically, recess appointments to the NLRB, pursuant to the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution, are made during Senate … Continue Reading
Now that the frenzy of the election has died down, Florida has counted its votes, and the major media outlets have moved on from dissecting party rhetoric, the question remains: What does President Obama’s reelection mean for the country? And for the purposes of employers and those in HR, what changes will we see in his second term in labor … Continue Reading
Two recent rulings by the National Labor Relations Board (Board) involving employees’ use of social media make it clear that employers who want to avoid violating federal labor laws are well served to revisit their social media policies and, perhaps along with their counsel, take a close look at whether these policies violate the National Labor Relations Act (Act). Although … Continue Reading
The recent NLRB ruling on confidentiality of interviews, which we previously discussed here, may conflict with the EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors (the “Enforcement Guidance“).
On July 27, 2012, Judge Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the National Labor Relations Board’s (“Board”) motion to reconsider his holding that that the Board’s expedited representation election rule was invalid due to lack of a statutorily-mandated quorum when the Board approved the rule in December 2011. In his earlier decision, Judge … Continue Reading
In keeping with its current interest in examination of standard practices of non-union employers, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) has now held that the common directive to employees to not discuss matters under investigation with co-workers may interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their statutory rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act … Continue Reading
The National Labor Relations Board (the Board) has started to move aggressively against “at-will” employment disclaimers that many employers include in their handbooks. Typically, employers include an “at-will” employment policy, which states that employees may be terminated at any time for any lawful reason, with or without notice and with or without cause. Further, employers advise employees that their “at-will” … Continue Reading
On May 30, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“Board”) Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, issued his Third Report on Social Media Cases. This Report describes the restrictions on employee use of social media that an employer may lawfully include in its policies.
Under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”), an employer may not implement a policy that would … Continue Reading
On May 26, 2012, Board Member Terence F. Flynn submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama and to NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce. The resignation is effective July 24, 2012. However, Mr. Flynn immediately recused himself from all agency business and has asked that the President withdraw his nomination for Board Member of the NLRB.
Mr. Flynn was sworn in … Continue Reading
In a decision filed on May 18, 2012, Oliveira v. Citicorp North America, Inc. and Citigroup, Inc., Case No. 8:12-cv-251-T-26TGW (M.D. Fla. 2012), Judge Richard A. Lazzara of the Middle District of Florida held that a complete waiver of class and collective actions in either a judicial or arbitration forum was enforceable. This decision directly conflicts with the National Labor … Continue Reading
According to a D.C. federal court, another regulation issued by the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) is unlawful. This time, the Board’s so-called “quickie election” rule, which would shorten the time period between an union petition and the election, has been struck down. This is an important outcome for employers, because the new regulation, if it had been approved, … Continue Reading