NLRA Allows Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that arbitration agreements containing provisions barring class or collective action do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Additionally, the NLRB ruled that an employer may legally terminate the employment of an employee who refuses to sign an arbitration agreement with class or collective action waivers included in its language. The ruling affirms existing precedent regarding arbitration agreements, although it also departs from precedent in allowing such an agreement to be considered valid, even when it was distributed in response to a collective action it was attempting to halt. Continue reading “NLRA Allows Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements”

NLRB Allows Employers to Restrict Employees’ Email

In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed a 2014 decision that gave employees the presumptive right to use their employer’s email system for non-work-related purposes during nonworking time. In the new decision, the NLRB instead ruled that employers retained the right to restrict employee use of an employer’s email system, so long as it did so on a nondiscriminatory basis. This could have a significant impact on employees’ ability to organize for labor purposes.

The new ruling, Caesars Entertainment dba Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the NLRB considered a case where employees were using their employer’s email system when not working to organize for labor purposes. While employers undeniably have a right to control their own property, including their company’s email systems, employees also undeniably have a right under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to communicate for labor organizing. The question is whether the employer’s property right or the employees’ labor rights takes precedence.

Previously, in 2014’s Purple Communications, Inc., the NLRB ruled that an employee who is given access to an employer’s email system has a presumptive right to use that system for labor organizing purposes protected by Section 7 of the NLRA, provided they do not do it during work hours. In the new decision, this was reversed, allowing employers to deny employee access to the email system for labor purposes, provided they do not discriminate in doing so. The only exception to this rule is if there is no other available means for employees to reasonably conduct Section 7 protected activity, but this is a very narrow exception.

               If you are looking into unionizing, or you already have a union and are in a dispute with your employer, give the Law Offices of Steve Sack a call. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of labor and employment law. To schedule a consultation with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.

The Right to Unionize

The Constitution of the United States guarantees its citizens the right to freely associate, and to peacefully assemble for political purposes. However, the modern labor union only dates to the 1930s, with the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Until that point, labor unions were made illegal, and were often broken up by police, or sometimes even by the State or National Guard. Moreover, there are still many people who are not allowed to legally unionize, or who have their right to organize significantly restricted. How can this be true? Continue reading “The Right to Unionize”

When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky

When people think of employment discrimination, whether based on gender, race, age, sexuality or disability, they usually have a specific picture of what that looks like. They imagine bigoted tirades or inappropriate physical contact, or managers or executives outright declaring their refusal to treat certain kinds of people as equals. That said, with employers now more conscious of lawsuits than ever, discrimination can often take more subtle forms. Continue reading “When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky”

Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees, According to NLRB

In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that Uber drivers, and other ride-share drivers working for companies like Lyft, are independent contractors rather than employees. This means they do not have the right to unionize and are not afforded many of the legal protections they would receive if they were considered employees. Uber considers this ruling a major victory, as most of their workforce are drivers working under ride-share agreements, and their financial and legal obligations would have substantially increased if their drivers were ruled to be employees instead.

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Changes To The Freelance Law In New York City

In the beginning of 2017, New York City adopted The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act.  The law provides that a company must:

  • Provide a written contract to a freelance worker for services of $800 or more,
  • All payments to a freelancer must be paid on a timely basis and in full; and
  • Prohibits retaliatory action against a freelancer for exercising his or her right under the law.

Continue reading “Changes To The Freelance Law In New York City”

Medical Exam Company Agrees to Stop Forcing its Employees from Entering into Restrictive Covenants

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced that Examination Management Services, Inc. (EMSI), a medical information and examination services firm, has agreed not to require its non-management employees in the state to enter into restrictive covenants, also known as non-compete agreements. This was reported in Newsday.

Continue reading “Medical Exam Company Agrees to Stop Forcing its Employees from Entering into Restrictive Covenants”

College Athletes Petition to Become Union

For the first time in history, college athletes are petitioning to be represented by labor unions and have taken the first step in the process of being recognized as employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

Continue reading “College Athletes Petition to Become Union”

Golf Course Accused of Age Discrimination by Former Employee

Ramon Alcantara, a former employee of Pebble Beach Co. for over 20 years, alleges he was fired as a result of age discrimination late in 2013. According to the complaint, Alcantara, who is over 55 years of age, injured his back while replacing a 50-pound pump motor at the beach and tennis club.

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New Jersey Limits Employer Access to Employees’ Social Media Accounts

A new law which took effect on December 1, 2013 makes New Jersey the latest of a growing number of states – including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington – that prohibit employers from requesting access to the social media accounts of current or prospective employees. The law also prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating against any such individual who either refuses to provide such access or who complains about what he or she believes to be a violation of the law.

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