Overview: Just because an employer has a non-unionized workforce does not mean that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not apply. In fact, the NLRA offers protections to most employees, except agricultural laborers, domestic workers, family members, independent contractors and managers/supervisors. Similarly, the NLRA defines employer broadly and applies to all employers except for government organizations and railroads or airlines covered by the Railway Labor Act.
Therefore, it is important for employers to understand that, even absent a union, employees are guaranteed the right to engage in concerted activity to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions and an employer may not terminate them for this activity. In the wake of Facebook and forms of social media communication among employees, this has suddenly become a more prevalent protection for both union and nonunion employees.
Trends: Recently the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has heard several cases - cases which did not involve a unionized workforce - and ultimately found that employers' social media policies, at-will disclaimers, and confidentiality of investigation policies violated the NLRA because they infringed upon an employee's right to engage in a protected concerted activity. Essentially, the NLRB is scrutinizing the language of employer policies that may hinder an employee's speech. Almost daily, the NLRB continues to actively pursue these claims against employers - union and nonunion alike.
Author: Melissa Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
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).
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.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently provided additional guidance on the legality of restricting employee discussion of ongoing internal investigations. In a recent Advice Memorandum, the NLRB clarified how employers can lawfully restrict employee discussion of ongoing investigations and provided sample language for employers to include in their workplace investigation policies.
An employer may not be clear on how a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision relates to a General Counsel Memo or to an appellate court decision under the National Labor Relations Act. This Quick Reference chart helps employers navigate the NLRB organization and enforcement process.
Employers across the country may soon be prohibited from effectively forcing employees to become members of a union based on legislation introduced in the House of Representatives on March 5. The bill, known as the "National Right To Work Act" (H.R. 946) and championed by Republican Steve King of Iowa, seeks to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the National Railway Act (NRA) which currently permit employers and unions to enter into agreements requiring union membership and the payment of dues as a condition of employment.
XpertHR's Transportation Resource Center for HR: Labor Relations helps transportation industry employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
XpertHR's Retail Resource Center for HR: Labor Relations helps retail employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
XpertHR's Retail Resource Center for HR: Social Media helps retail employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced that, for now, it will not decide Wal-Mart's unfair labor practice charge, which alleged that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (Union) engaged in illegal picketing with the intent to unionize workers. Wal-Mart alleged in its charge that the Union violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by picketing at its stores for more than 30 days with the intent of forming a union.
The number of private and public sector employees who are union members has dropped for the fifth consecutive year, according to a new report. The annual report from the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released on January 23 found that the number of wage and salary workers belonging to a union declined to 14.4 million in 2012 from 14.8 million in 2011.
HR guidance on complying with the NLRA.
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