Logic Prevails At The NLRB! Some Common Sense HR Policies Are Legal Once Again!

You may recall that in the last year of the Obama administration the National Labor Relations Board issued a Memorandum declaring that a number of what most of us consider to be common sense HR policies were “presumed illegal” because they could have a “chilling effect” on employees’ Section 7 rights.

On Wednesday the NLRB reversed itself and issued a Memorandum stating that nine of these standard HR policies will now be “presumed lawful.” This Memorandum will require some employers to modify their Handbooks; for others, only the application of their existing policies will change. In both instances, the changes will be to the benefit of employers. I have provided a brief summary of the new “presumed lawful” policies for your perusal as well as a couple that are still presumptively unlawful. Continue reading “Logic Prevails At The NLRB! Some Common Sense HR Policies Are Legal Once Again!”

NLRB Encourages Employees to Also File Complaints with OSHA and Department of Labor

National Labor Relations Board issued Memorandum OM 14-77 on August 8, 2014, in which it instructed Regional offices to encourage employees who have filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB to also file complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.  Specifically the Memorandum states that if a witness discloses facts that suggest that an employer may have violated the OSH Act or the FLSA, the NLRB Agent is to notify the charging party that he, or his representative, has the right to file a complaint with OSHA or the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (WHD). The Memorandum stresses that NLRB Agents are to invoke this procedure when they believe that a possible violation may have occurred. Continue reading “NLRB Encourages Employees to Also File Complaints with OSHA and Department of Labor”

Fifth Circuit Holds that Confidentiality Agreement Prohibiting Disclosure of Financial and Personnel Information Violates NLRA

confidentiality-agreementOn Monday March 24, 2014 the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the National Labor Relations Board’s decision that nonunion employer FlexFrac Logistics LLC violated the NLRA by maintaining a confidentiality policy that barred workers from discussing “personnel” or “confidential” information with anyone outside the organization.

The Fifth Circuit held that the NLRB was not unreasonable when it found that employees could construe the policy as prohibiting them from discussing their wages in violation of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Continue reading “Fifth Circuit Holds that Confidentiality Agreement Prohibiting Disclosure of Financial and Personnel Information Violates NLRA”

When is a Full House Worse Than Two of a Kind? When the NLRB Is Involved

On July 30, 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed five nominees for appointment to the NLRB.full house The three Democrat-backed confirmations include Kent Hirozawa, Nancy Jean Schiffer and Mark Gaston Pearce (former union attorney and current NLRB Chairman whose term was set to expire this month). Two Republican-backed nominees, Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III, were also confirmed. This is the first time in ten years that the NLRB has had a fully confirmed five-member Board. You may recall that in January of this year the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that President Obama’s three “recess” appointments to the NLRB unconstitutional, leaving only two validly-seated members of the Board. Continue reading “When is a Full House Worse Than Two of a Kind? When the NLRB Is Involved”