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 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 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)

  • National Labor Relations Board

    Date:
    17 April 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    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.

  • NLRB Revives Efforts to Speed Up Union Election Process

    Date:
    06 February 2014
    Type:
    News

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reissued proposed amendments to rules and regulations that would streamline and shorten the time for representation case procedures governing the union election process. The amendments are identical to those first proposed by the NLRB in 2011, which were later struck down by a district court judge because the NLRB lacked a quorum when the amendments were adopted.

  • New Podcast: NLRB's Uphill Supreme Court Fight Plus Other Key Labor Law Issues

    Date:
    31 January 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    This podcast takes you inside the Supreme Court for coverage of the closely watched NLRB v. Noel Canning case. The stakes are high for employers because the case could place hundreds of NLRB rulings in doubt. Also featured is a conversation with XpertHR Legal Editor Melissa Boyce about other notable labor law issues to watch for in 2014.

  • Justices Appear Skeptical of NLRB Recess Appointments

    Date:
    15 January 2014
    Type:
    News

    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday regarding whether three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were constitutional in NLRB v. Noel Canning. The case is among the most significant of the Court's term because it could place hundreds of NLRB rulings in doubt.

  • NLRB to Charge Wal-Mart for Retaliating Against 2012 Black Friday Protesters

    Date:
    20 November 2013
    Type:
    News

    On November 18, 2013, The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel (OGC) announced that it has authorized complaints against Wal-Mart for unlawfully retaliating against its employees who engaged in strikes and protests on November 22, 2012, otherwise known as "Black Friday."

  • Employers May Not Condition Collective Bargaining on Outcome of Noel Canning

    Date:
    12 November 2013
    Type:
    News

    An administrative law judge (ALJ) for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has found that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by refusing to bargain with a union unless the union agreed that any collective bargaining agreement (CBA) reached would be void if the US Supreme Court upholds the controversial Noel Canning decision.

  • Workflow to Determine Applicability of NLRA to Non-Union Employee's Activity Added

    Date:
    05 November 2013
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    XpertHR's innovative Liveflo Tool now includes a workflow to assist an employer with determining whether a non-union employee's activity is protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

  • NLRB Launches Mobile App to Inform Employees of NLRA Rights

    Date:
    05 September 2013
    Type:
    News

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has launched a free mobile app aimed at educating employees, unions and employers about their rights and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

  • NLRB's Specialty Healthcare's "Micro-Union" Decision Upheld by Court of Appeals

    Date:
    23 August 2013
    Type:
    News

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation (Specialty Healthcare) survived its first court challenge when the Sixth Circuit of Appeals (court) upheld the decision in Kindred Nursing Centers East (f/k/a Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center) v. NLRB, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16919 (6th Cir. 2013). As a result of this decision, employers should be cautioned that employees who share a community-of -interest are not required to be in a single bargaining unit and may instead campaign and organize smaller bargaining units, i.e. micro bargaining units or "micro-unions", within a single workplace, thereby multiplying the burdens on employers.

  • With a Full Board, NLRB Is Now Fully Authorized to Issue Decisions Affecting Employers

    Date:
    14 August 2013
    Type:
    News

    Marking the end of a long-running debate over its legitimacy, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a full board of five Senate confirmed members for the first time in a decade. Following the August 12 swearing-in of the last of the four new members, the NLRB can now quell doubts of its authority to issue decisions and enforce the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).