Category Archives: National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

DOJ Backs Class Action Waivers

The United States Department of Justice (DOL) has made an about face and now takes the position that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable.   The change in position from the Trump Administration’s DOJ has gained national headlines. The Courts of Appeal are split on the enforceability of these waivers, while the National Labor Relations Board maintains they are unenforceable. The Obama-era DOJ agreed with the National Labor Relations Board’s position that such waivers are unenforceable because they infringe on employees’ collective bargaining rights. The current DOJ, acting in accordance with the executive branch’s policy shift as a result …

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A Recipe for Burrito Disaster: Twitter and the NLRA

In Havertown, Pennsylvania, Chipotle recently had some negative publicity and, for once, E. coli was not the culprit. Instead, James Kennedy, a 38-year-old war veteran, was terminated from Chipotle, after criticizing the company on Twitter and for circulating a petition in store regarding scheduled breaks. Kennedy sued, alleging that his termination violated the NLRA. One of Kennedy’s tweets contained a news article regarding hourly workers having to work on snow days while other workers were off. The tweet referenced Chipotle’s communications director, asking, “Snow day for ‘top performers’ Chris Arnold?” Another tweet involved a reply to a customer who tweeted …

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Labor Strikes Back: The New NLRB Initiatives

While private sector union representation has been declining for decades, the last few years have ushered in a resurgence of union initiatives.  Importantly, these efforts have been fueled by a labor friendly National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) that has embarked on unprecedented programs to allow for: so-called “ambush” elections; the expansion of the doctrine of joint employment; review of independent contractor misclassification issues concerning bargaining unit issues; expansion of employee protections for the use of social media; and intrusion upon “core” employer prerogatives under the “guise” of protecting “concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (“ACT”). At the same …

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“Like” It or Not, It’s Protected Activity Under the NLRA

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times:  “It’s employment at will in this state.  I can fire my employees for any reason or no reason at all.”  Well, if that “any reason” or “no reason” has something to do with social-media based condemnation of your company, you might want to think again before permanently “unfriending” your employee. This past week, the Second Circuit affirmed an NLRB ruling that an employee’s Facebook post criticizing her employer (the “Triple Play Bar and Grille”) in connection with its income tax withholding practices (trying to keep this post PG, but …

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Union or Not, the NLRB Has Employers (and Their Employee Handbooks) In Its Sights

Here’s something that often comes as a surprise to my clients with a non-union employee base: the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) likely applies even without any union employees. Yep – you read that right. In fact, the NLRA’s application is quite broad, covering the vast majority of private employers in the United States. And because there aren’t already enough rules and regulations that employers need to comply with (read that again, with sarcasm), the NLRB has been making things even more difficult for employers lately, paging through employee handbooks and going line by line to find potential issues. In …

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Little Known Tactic for Creative Plaintiff Lawyers to Obtain Reinstatement

In Connecticut, and in most states, a terminated employee has a number of legal options, causes of action that can, in the end, result in reinstatement. The usual routes include a state or federal court lawsuit, alleging any number of types of discrimination, breach of contract, and multiple torts. Most claims of discrimination must first go through the state or federal administrative process to exhaust remedies, before suit can be filed in court. Initiation of a lawsuit is then followed by years of motion practice, discovery, court and other delays. Although the aggrieved former employee initially went to his or …

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