The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun the process of reviewing a potential change to federal regulations about the use of restrictive covenants in employment contracts. The goal of these changes is, ostensibly, to allow employees a greater degree of freedom to change employment without fear of legal retribution. Employers, however, are wary of these potential changes, which they say may make it easier for employees to personally benefit from trade secrets or other confidential information. Continue reading “FTC Begins Review of Rule on Restrictive Covenants”
A critical part of the process of unionizing is holding what is known as a union election. Without it, you cannot legally form a union in the United States, and you cannot move forward with negotiating with your employer collectively. But what exactly is a union election, and how do you go about holding one in your workplace?
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects individuals engaged in “protected concerted activity,” allowing them to legally fight for increased pay, better benefits, and improved working conditions. This concerted activity is essential for labor organizing, and thus these protections are a cornerstone of labor law. Here are five common examples of protected concerted activity, as defined by the NLRA: Continue reading “Four Types of Concerted Activity Protected Under the NLRA”
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects employees who engage in political activity for the purposes of labor organizing. However, not all kinds of political activity are considered a “protected activity” under the NLRA, meaning not all activities receive the same kind of legal consideration. So what constitutes a protected activity under the NLRA, and why does it matter whether an activity is considered protected or not? Continue reading “What is Protected Activity Under the NLRA?”
If you work for a business where you feel you do not receive sufficient income or benefits for the work you put in, you may be able to benefit from starting a labor union. However, many people are afraid of even trying to start a union and have no idea where to begin. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to begin the process of forming a labor union at your place of employment: Continue reading “How Do You Form a Labor Union?”
Unionization is an often-controversial subject, but also one with substantial practical implications. Many people reflexively oppose unionization precisely because of how politicized it can be, but for people working in certain jobs, a union can provide many potential benefits. Here are just five potential ways you can benefit from forming a labor union at your place of employment: Continue reading “Five Potential Benefits of Forming a Labor Union”
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a ruling making it permissible for an employer to discipline newly unionized employees for violations of the company’s disciplinary policy. The ruling overturns a 2016 decision which made it illegal for an employer to discipline a newly unionized employee due to concerns of potential abuse. However, the Board has ruled that employers have no legal obligation to consider whether an employee has been recently unionized before disciplining them. Continue reading “Employers Can Discipline Newly Unionized Employees According to NLRB”
Employees at Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding website, have voted to form a labor union, becoming the first white-collar employees in the tech industry to do so. The union consists of a collection of accountants, content directors and software designers who sought better pay and working conditions from their employer. While the first of its kind, the Kickstarter union may be a sign of things to come in the tech industry. Continue reading “Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize”
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”
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.