Protected Activity The National Labor Relations Act

News & Analysis as of

The Second Circuit Tackles Employee Rights, Obscenities & Social Media Use

Employers took note last year when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that “liking” a Facebook post can qualify as protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB held that the owner of...more

That is SO last week - October 2015 #4

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued its summary decision in Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille. Affirming the National Labor Relations Board, the Court held that an employee’s Facebook comments about working...more

Seventh Circuit Decision Drives Home Importance of Prudence in Communicating With Employees About Union Issues

In AutoNation, Inc. v. NLRB, the Seventh Circuit enforced a National Labor Relations Board decision that found a car dealership to be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act for interfering with workers’ efforts to...more

Ingles Solamente Reglas

English-only rules are not as common as they once were, but many employers still require employees to speak English only in the workplace. Justifications for these rules vary, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

Surprise! NLRB Approves Employer’s Challenged Social Media Policy

In somewhat of a surprise, recently the NLRB affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s decision, which had rejected the NLRB General Counsel’s challenge to a portion of an employer’s social media policy as unlawful. The...more

Tinley Park Hotel and Convention Center: The NLRB Gets Out Its Selfie Stick

Over the past few years, many employers have found out—the hard way—that the National Labor Relations Board is serious in policing employee handbooks for provisions that the Board believes are “overly broad” under Section 7...more

NLRB Rules that Racism is a Protected Activity

Although no one reading this article would disagree with the premise that employers cannot and should not tolerate bigotry from anyone in their workforce, the NLRB apparently thinks otherwise. In a troubling decision handed...more

Unfortunately, Offensive Racial Comments Don’t Always Get You Fired (At Least Under Labor Law)

Under the National Labor Relations Act, certain union activities are considered “protected.” That is, employees engaging in union activity, or union representatives carrying out their duties in the context of grievance...more

“Ambush” Election Challenge Fails in Federal Court

A federal judge in Texas recently ruled in favor of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a case challenging the Board’s “ambush” election rules. The lawsuit, Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc. v....more

NLRB Rules 'Vulgar' Union Buttons Allowed

In our prior alerts, we notified you of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent decisions clarifying when, in the current board's estimation, an employer violates Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2015

Ninth Circuit Reviews Enforceability of Waiver of Right to Reemployment - Does California Business and Professions Code § 16600 prohibit employees from waiving their right to reemployment with prior employers? The...more

Calling Your Boss a “Nasty Mother F@#$%r” and Other Protected Activities

If an employee lashes out against a supervisor on social media with a string of obscenities, you can fire that employee, right? You would think so, but not always. Context matters....more

No, You Cannot Prohibit Employees from Protesting or Discussing Their Wages

A reminder to employers concerned about employees’ discussing their wages or acting in concert to petition for higher wages: This is legally protected activity that employers cannot prohibit or restrain. A recent National...more

NLRB Still “Likes” Expansive Employee Speech

Unlike many issues, it seems that at least one issue (so far) has the NLRB on the same page as a recent court decision: whether clicking “like” on Facebook amounts to substantive, protectable speech. In my earlier blog posts...more

Recent NLRB Decisions Condone Workplace Profanity and Insubordination - Employers Need to Know What Is Considered Protected...

An administrative law judge (ALJ) of the National Labor Relations Board (the "Board") recently found that a Hooters employee who cursed at her co-worker during an employee bikini contest was wrongfully terminated by her...more

NLRB's Recent Triple Play Decision Tackles Two Critical Social Media Issues for Employers

With the intersection between cutting-edge social media and the Depression-era National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act) still relatively new, employers are looking for answers to some fundamental questions when it comes...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

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

NLRB Did Not Err In Categorically Barring NLRA Back Pay For Undocumented Workers, Second Circuit Holds

Palma v. NLRB, No. 12-1199 (2d Cir. July 10, 2013): Petitioners are undocumented aliens who were unlawfully discharged for engaging in protected activities under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). At a compliance...more

Email Policy Cannot Be Used To Squelch Protected, Concerted Activity

Employers must ensure that their email policies advise employees of the appropriate use of email. ...more

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