The National Labor Relations Act

The National Labor Relations Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1935 to prevent labor strife by encouraging collective bargaining, protecting concerted activity and curtailing certain unfair labor... more +
The National Labor Relations Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1935 to prevent labor strife by encouraging collective bargaining, protecting concerted activity and curtailing certain unfair labor practices by private sector managament and labor.  less -
News & Analysis as of

NLRB Expands the Boundaries of Employee Protest; Limits Employers’ Discipline Rights

Last week, the NLRB addressed whether, and to what extent, employees can criticize their employer in public. In MikLin Enterprises, the Board held 2-1 that a Jimmy John’s franchisee violated Section 8(a)(3) of the National...more

Facebook "Like" Button - Protected Activity? It Depends on What You "Like"!

In an ever expanding arc of decisions that extends the NLRA’s protections to a wide range of employee conduct – both on-and off-duty, and in union and non-union settings alike – the NLRB last week decided that merely clicking...more

Week in Review

The National Labor Relations Board continues to focus on employer social media policies and employee discipline for online activity. In a ruling this week involving Triple Play Sports Bar & Grill, the Board concluded that...more

More Reasons for Employers to "DISLIKE" Facebook

The National Labor Relations Board is at it again – wading into the social media foray, that is. In a case that has been percolating since 2011, the NLRB has ruled that an employer must reinstate an employee who was...more

Executive Labor Summary - July/August 2014

NLRB extends Weingarten right of union representation to drug and alcohol test situations - On July 31, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board in Ralph's Grocery Co. ruled that a union-represented...more

When Acting to Prevent Data Breaches and Comply with Privacy Laws, Remember Overarching Employee Rights

The grocery business may be “fresh and easy,” but drafting a confidentiality and data protection policy that withstands the scrutiny of the current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is not. The NLRB, in its recent 2-1...more

Two Important NLRB Decisions: When Franchisees/Franchisers are a Joint Employer and Forming Micro Bargaining Units in Retail

On July 29, 2014, the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Richard Griffin, authorized NLRB Regional Directors to issue complaints in 43 unfair labor practices cases against McDonald’s USA LLC. The...more

National Labor Relations Board Majority Holds That Seeking Co-Worker Assistance with an Individual Harassment Complaint is...

Last week, the NLRB took an exceptionally broad view of what constitutes “concerted activity” and what kind of efforts are aimed at “mutual aid or protection” under the National Labor Relations Act. For employers, this could...more

NLRB Expands Reach of NLRA by Finding Employee Who Sought Help From Coworkers For Her Sex Harassment Complaint Was Protected

In yet another case that impacts both union and non-union employers, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently found that an employee who asked coworkers for assistance in preserving evidence for a sex harassment...more

National Labor Relations Board’s Threatened Expansion of Joint Employer Doctrine Would Increase Employment Law Risks for US...

To bring their full financial and operational expertise to portfolio companies, private equity firms frequently adopt an active approach to overseeing their investments. However, the greater a firm’s involvement in the...more

NLRB Divides Sharply on Employee Concerted Activity for “Mutual Aid or Protection”

In a complex, twenty-eight page opinion, a sharply divided NLRB has ruled that when an individual employee seeks assistance from fellow employees with respect to a violation under Title VII (or other workplace laws), the...more

Personal View: Union rules force changes

The National Labor Relations Board is set to make the final moves in a strategy seemingly designed to expand union representation in the private sector. Under the Obama administration, the NLRB has systematically...more

Lessons on Social Media in the Workplace

The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on...more

Two Recent Cases May Indicate Expansion of the NLRB’s Position Regarding Organizing Activity

In June, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Starbucks violated labor law by firing a worker, union supporter Joseph Agins, who used profanity in front of customers. In 2010, the NLRB found that Starbucks...more

Dealership Handbooks Are Being Picked Apart

Whether your dealership is unionized or you’ve never had to deal with organized labor, your employment policies are more likely now than ever to be targeted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Over the past two...more

Would You Like Fries . . . and an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with That?

Mainstream media, attorneys, and business owners are discussing the meaning and impact of a two paragraph press release issued on July 29 by the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). That...more

Activity Before NLRB and WA Supreme Court Highlights Joint Employer Risk

A recent announcement by the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel and a Washington Supreme Court decision underscore the risks of potential joint employer liability...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - August 2014

Partial-Day Leave Deductions Lawful for Exempt Employees - A California court of appeal recently confirmed that employers may require exempt employees to use accrued leave for partial-day absences, even if shorter than...more

Recent NLRB Retail Rulings Muddy the Micro-Unit Waters

At the end of July, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued two decisions under its controversial Specialty Healthcare standard, approving of one “micro unit” and disavowing another in the retail context. The NLRB’s...more

NLRB Continues Its Busy Summer with Important New Decisions on Weingarten Rights, Noel Canning Issues

The National Labor Relations Board continued its busy summer over the past two weeks. First, the Board issued a decision reaffirming the importance it places on an employee’s Weingarten rights, even if they impede an...more

ALJ Declares NLRB’S Dues Checkoff Termination Decision a Dead Letter

In WKYC-TV, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 30 (2012), the NLRB overruled 50 years of precedent under Bethlehem Steel, 136 NLRB 1500 (1962), and held that going forward, employers could not unilaterally end dues checkoff at the expiration...more

Enforcing Your Policies Outside The Workplace

All employers adopt and enforce policies regulating conduct at the workplace. Many employers expect that employees will follow their employment polices at all times regardless of whether the employee is working or at work....more

Big Mac Attack: Is the Franchisor a Joint Employer?

On July 29, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a brief statement that could turn labor law in the world of franchising upside down. The NLRB’s General Counsel stated that it plans to go forward with a...more

Fifth Circuit Protects Franchisors, For Now

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s announcement that he intends to pursue unfair labor practice charges against a franchisor, franchisors are on high alert. With the NLRB considering an...more

Two All-Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions, on a Sesame Seed Bun – NLRB Rocks Franchise World by...

The National Labor Relations Board is attempting to expand the reach of the National Labor Relations Act once again – this time the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel authorized formal complaints against McDonald’s USA,...more

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