Section 7

News & Analysis as of

Is the NLRB Outlawing Confidentiality Policies?

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) recently issued its decision in The Boeing Company case. The Board found that Boeing’s confidentiality policy regarding internal investigations violated the National Labor...more

The NLRB's Assault on Employee Handbooks: Potentially Illegal Workplace Rules and Policies

Most employers and their legal counsel take pride in rules and policies that have become standard fare in the workplace. Employee Handbooks almost always contain, and certainly should contain, conspicuous provisions that...more

NLRB Says Employer Cannot Suspend Employee for Posting Disciplinary Warning

Over the past several years, EmployNews has reported on dozens of National Labor Relations Board cases expanding the concept of employee rights in even non-unionized workplaces. Earlier this month, the NLRB added to this list...more

Employment Law - August 2015 #2

The Customer Isn't Always Right—Especially When He Harasses Employees: Why it matters - Providing an important reminder about the potential for liability from customers, a new lawsuit was filed against a supermarket...more

Concerted Activity or Insubordination?

With its recent decision in Central States SE and SW Areas, Health & Welfare and Pension Funds, 362 N.L.R.B. No. 155, 203 LRRM 2082 (August 4, 2015), the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has provided another...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ESA 60-Day Notice "Adequate" and Resurrects Challenge to Suction Dredge Mining Suit

On August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order dismissing an Endangered Species Act ("ESA") lawsuit on the grounds plaintiffs provided inadequate notice. Klamath-Siskiyou...more

NLRB Says Filing Class Action Lawsuit is Protected Concerted Activity

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees who engage in protected concerted activity. Concerted Activity means actions involving terms and...more

A Return Of “Common Sense” To The Courtroom? DC Circuit Concludes That AT&T Connecticut Was Justified In Banning Employees From...

How would you feel if a telephone or cable repair person showed up at your residence wearing a t-shirt that said “Inmate”? In Southern New England Telephone Company v. National Labor Relations Board the United States Court...more

Trend Alert: NLRB Holds Employee Acting Alone Engages in Concerted Activity

The NLRB, and courts interpreting the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), consistently have held that to engage in concerted activity protected by Section 7, two or more employees must take action for their mutual aid or...more

NLRB Protects a New Kind of Employee Activity: Worrying About Your Job

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has been on a roll in recent years, protecting such employee activity as complaining on Facebook or even hitting the “Like” button. In the case of Sabo, Inc.¸ the NLRB recently...more

6th Circuit: Despite Misconduct, Terminating Complaining Employee Still a Problem Under Section 7

Ask any school teacher and they will tell you, the key to maintaining an orderly classroom is identifying the instigator. The "instigator" is the young boy or girl (let’s be honest, usually boy) who does or says something to...more

“Common Sense” Shows The Value of a Well-Written Dissent: Southern New England Telephone Company v. NLRB

It must be frustrating to be in the minority of an administrative adjudicatory body and to constantly be forced to write dissenting opinions, as was the case for former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Brian E....more

NLRB Says Employers Cannot Ask Employees Not to Discuss Internal Investigation

When conducting an internal investigation involving possible disciplinary violations, employers often ask participants in the investigation to maintain its confidentiality pending completion. Last month, the National Labor...more

New Guidance Regarding Employee Handbooks Part Six: Ensuring Conflict of Interest Rules Don’t Inhibit Protected Concerted Activity

Naturally, all employers would like to prevent their employees from engaging in activities that are in conflict with the employers’ interest. However, there is a great deal of potentially conflicting employee activity that is...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 Says Employer Cannot Rescind Contract for Employee Who Wrote Complaining Email to Co-Workers

As previously reported in EmployNews, recent National Labor Relations Board decisions have disrupted established guidelines with regard to employers’ obligations to tolerate uncivil and insulting behavior and comments from...more

NLRB General Counsel sets sights on common employer policies

Creation of sound and legally compliant employee handbook policies has been something of a moving target in recent years because of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) continual review and interpretation of employee...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

NLRB Declares “Conflict-of-Interest” Policy to be Unlawful on Its Face

In a controversial decision, the NLRB found that a conflict-of-interest policy in an employee handbook is unlawful on its face. This ruling could deem many current conflict-of-interest policies unenforceable, creating harsh...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Forest Service Violated ESA by Failing to Reinitiate Consultation for Canada Lynx

On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish...more

Helpful Guidelines For Employee Handbook Drafting

The NLRB has recently been active in analyzing whether employee handbooks violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). In light of this, it is advisable for employers to try to imagine their handbook...more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...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

An Unforgiving NLRB Holds That Protecting Patient Data Under HIPAA Can Still Violate Section 7 Rights

It would make sense that the systems housing patient records at a physician’s office should be protected by a robust duty on the part of the physician’s employees to keep such records confidential. The purpose, of course, is...more

NC General Assembly Overrides Veto of Property Protection Bill

Last week, the North Carolina House and Senate overrode Governor McCrory’s veto of legislation intended to shield employers from video or other data or documents release by employees. H.B. 405, called the “ag-gag” bill by...more

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