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 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
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."
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.
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).
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).
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.
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).
The National Labor Relations Board has announced that it entered into a cooperation agreement with Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at promoting "a broader awareness within the Mexican community of the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers, along with the services that the NLRB provides."
In a move that may actually put the Noel Canning controversy to rest, Senate Democrats and Republicans have made a deal that resulted in the withdrawal of two contentious recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Specifically, Democrats agreed to withdraw and replace the NLRB appointments of Sharon Block and Richard Griffin in exchange for assurances from Republicans that the confirmation votes of two new NLRB nominees as well as that of the President's other contested nominees may proceed in an expedited manner.
Employers should be aware that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will now be acting together to enforce both the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), according to the DOJ's announcement.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to declare seemingly neutral handbook provisions and company policies overbroad and a violation of the employee right to engage in protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In Quicken Loans, Inc. and Lydia Garza, 359 N.L.R.B. 151 (2013), the NLRB upheld the NLRB Administrative Law Judge's decision declaring certain handbook provisions (regarding confidentiality and nondisparagement) invalid and an unnecessary restriction on employee rights.
HR guidance on the NLRB and enforcement against unfair labor practices.