HR Support on National Labor Relations Board

Editor's Note: NLRB - friend or foe?

Melissa BoyceOverview: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) was created to enforce the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which prohibits employers from engaging in certain conduct that interferes, restrains, or coerces employees in the exercise of their rights. The NLRB essentially acts as a panel of judges to hear and prevent unfair labor practices. It has numerous powers including the power to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documents, as well as ordering any person to "cease and desist" from an unfair labor practice and to provide remedies. The NLRB has further power to petition any US court of appeals to enforce any order of the board, subject to the full contempt powers of the US courts for noncompliance.

Although many private non-union employers have not had much experience with the NLRB, they should be aware, however, that there are very few exceptions as to what is defined as an employer and employee under the NLRA. Therefore, private non-union employers should acquaint themselves with the NLRA and the NLRB process because they are not immune from being subject to an unfair labor practice charge.

Trends: Recent NLRB decisions have caused a stir among employers - both union and non-union. The NLRB has been on a crusade targeting employer policies that it considers a violation of an employee's right to engage in a protected concerted activity under the NLRA. Social media policies, confidentiality provisions, at-will clauses, and arbitration agreements have all been under recent scrutiny. According to the NLRB, even a policy requiring employees to be courteous may be unlawful!

Author: Melissa Boyce, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

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    Date:
    August 25, 2016
    Type:
    News

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants are statutory employees under labor law and, therefore, are entitled to unionize and collectively bargain for better working conditions.

  • NLRB Allows Bargaining Units With Temporary, Permanent Employees Without Employer Consent

    Date:
    July 13, 2016
    Type:
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    In Miller & Anderson, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employer consent is not required for bargaining units that combine contingent and regular employees so long as the employees share a community of interest.

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    Use this workflow to determine how to respond to a union's petition to unionize a group of employees in the workplace.

  • Respond to a Union Petition: New Liveflo Workflow Published!

    Date:
    July 7, 2016
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    XpertHR's innovative Liveflo Tool now includes a workflow to assist an employer in responding to a union petition to unionize a group of employees.

  • Labor Relations Overview: Federal

    Type:
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    Updated to include information on a federal court's decision to temporarily bar the DOL from implementing and enforcing the new persuader rules.

  • President Nominates Merrick Garland to Fill Supreme Court Vacancy

    Date:
    March 16, 2016
    Type:
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    President Obama has nominated DC Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death. Garland is perhaps best known for overseeing the domestic terrorism prosecutions of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Theodore Kazcynski, infamously known as the Unabomber. Garland has compiled an extensive record during his 19 years on the DC Circuit, including in employment law.

  • Joint Employment

    Date:
    February 10, 2016
    Type:
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  • Webinar: Expanding the Joint Employer Standard

    Date:
    October 14, 2015
    Type:
    Podcasts and Webinars

    This webinar discusses the new joint employer standard and talks through practical recommendations for ways employers can reduce their risk of liability.

  • Podcast: NLRB's Landmark Joint Employer Ruling Has Big Implications

    Date:
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    Type:
    Podcasts and Webinars

    The National Labor Relations Board's expanded definition of "joint employer" is attracting significant attention. Boston labor law attorney Howard Bloom explains why the NLRB's Browning-Ferris ruling has huge ramifications.

  • National Labor Relations Board

    Date:
    September 4, 2015
    Type:
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    Revitalized and poised with a full Senate-confirmed quorum for the first time in a decade, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is making headlines for its aggressive and often controversial steps to remind union and non-union employers that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of individuals to do much more than unionize.