Overview: While the percentage of US workers that are unionized has been declining for years, the importance unions play for those they represent continues to be high. The management of labor relations is an important area of concern in the workplace. Both employers and employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) have rights and obligations regarding the unionization of employees. Some key concepts for employers include collective bargaining, lockout, strikes, unfair labor practice, protected concerted activity, right to work, and good faith bargaining - but there are many more!
Trends: Currently 23 states, mostly in the southern and western areas of the United States, are "Right to Work" states. Union organizing is more difficult in these states because they prohibit a union and an employer from reaching an agreement to require union membership and financial support in the form of dues as a condition of continuing employment.
Non-union employers should NOT be complacent that the NLRA or the NLRB don't apply to them. The NLRB has recently ruled in several broad areas, notably social media and employment-at-will disclaimers, which affect all workplaces, union and non-union alike.
Author: Melissa Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Employers in West Virginia must comply with important changes that have been made to the state termination pay law starting July 12, 2013.
The Supreme Court held that arbitrators - not courts - may have the last word on the question of class arbitration, opening the door to more class arbitration in the employment context. Employers should review their arbitration agreements to determine if they are specific and clear about their intentions, including, but not limited to the question of class arbitration.
XpertHR has enhanced its Labor Relations content to include a Supervisor Briefing on Handling and Investigating a Union Grievance which examines the law and best practices for handling and investigating a grievance filed by a union employee.
This Supervisor Briefing examines the law and best practices for handling and investigating a grievance filed by union employee.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that an employee's emails and Facebook postings were protected under the National Labor Relations Act (Act) even though they were directed at employees of a different company. N.Y. Party Shuttle, LLC, 2013 NLRB LEXIS 312 (N.L.R.B. May 2, 2013).
Even though the Noel Canning decision regarding the NLRB's power to issue decisions is currently on its way to the US Supreme Court, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to evaluate social media activity and whether or not such conduct is protected. The NLRB's Office of General Counsel recently released an Advice Memorandum assuring employers that under certain circumstances employee gripes, complaints and personal attacks may not rise to the level of protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Tasker Healthcare Group, d/b/a Skinsmart Technology, 2013 NLRB GCM LEXIS 19 (May 8, 2013).
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XpertHR's Retail Resource Center for HR helps retail employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
XpertHR has enhanced its Labor Relations content to include a Disciplining a Union Employee Supervisor Briefing, which examines the law and best practices for disciplining a union employee.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding the management of labor relations. Support and guidance on the ever growing field of labor law.
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