Overview: 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 Board 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 nonunion 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 nonunion 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 nonunion. 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
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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The National Labor Relations Board (Board) rule requiring private employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (Act) has been struck down by a federal appeals court. Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs v. NLRB, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 9231 (D.C. Cir. May 7, 2013). The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found the rule violated employers' right to free speech by compelling them to provide information concerning unionization, collective bargaining and other NLRA-protected activity without any reference to other rights such as the right to decertify a union or refuse to pay dues in a right-to-work state.
XpertHR has added several forms issued and required by the National Labor Relations Board to its Labor Relations content.
As mandated by the National Labor Relations Board, all employers must post NLRB Form 502 - Petition.
As mandated by the National Labor Relations Board, all employers must post NLRB Form 508 - Charge against Labor Organization or its Agents.
As mandated by the National Labor Relations Board, all employers must post NLRB Form 509- Charge Alleging Violation(s) under Section 8(e)- (Entering a Hot Cargo Agreement).
As mandated by the National Labor Relations Board, all employers must post NLRB Form 601 - Withdrawal Request.
As mandated by the National Labor Relations Board, all employers must post NLRB Form 4480 - Waiver.
HR guidance on the NLRB and enforcement against unfair labor practices.
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