Blocking Charge Rule Change Challenged by AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO, the largest association of unions in the United States, is seeking to stop the implementation of a rule that would weaken the “blocking charge” rule currently in place. The AFL-CIO has claimed that the rule was passed in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and that it was based on several factual errors that were not corrected. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which created the rule, is defending the new rule, stating that the factual errors were not material and that there was no APA violation. Continue reading “Blocking Charge Rule Change Challenged by AFL-CIO”

Federal Judge Strikes Down Rule on Ambush Elections

A federal district court judge has struck down a rule that was set to become effective on June 1, 2020 that would have outlawed so-called “ambush elections” by labor organizers. The rule, put forward by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), would have imposed significant procedural restrictions on when and how union elections could be called. However, the judge struck down the rule, saying that it was passed without satisfying the “notice and comment” requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. Continue reading “Federal Judge Strikes Down Rule on Ambush Elections”

NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban

Many employers have attempted to initiate rules against employee cell phone use during work hours to curtail texting, using social media, or browsing the internet. Given the importance of the devices in most peoples’ day-to-day lives, courts have generally frowned upon broad bans on cell phone use. However, in at least one narrow case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been willing to approve an employee cell phone ban. Continue reading “NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban”

Employer Permitted to Force Employee Weekend Overtime

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently issued an advice memo stating that an employer could force its employees to work overtime on the weekend. This was notwithstanding an extant union contract that had vague language with respect to whether the employer could force its employees to work overtime. The NLRB memo is a good reminder that employment contracts, including union contracts, need to be carefully worded to avoid exploitation by an employer or employee. Continue reading “Employer Permitted to Force Employee Weekend Overtime”

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.

National Labor Relations Board Imposes Decertification Penalties

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) showed they meant business when they ruled that nine workers who decertified their union in 2012 still had to pay it another year’s worth of membership dues because they sent in some of the paperwork too early. The NLRB ruling sent out a warning by the Federal government message was loud and clear:  if you are a worker who is trying to exit your union, dot every “i,” cross every “t” and double- and triple-check everything you do. Otherwise, it may cost you a lot.

Continue reading “National Labor Relations Board Imposes Decertification Penalties”