Friday, May 27, 2022

WIRTW #627: the “you’re 16” edition


Everyone please wish my smart, compassionate, talented, beautiful, kick-ass daughter a happy 16th birthday!!!
Here's what I read this past week that I think you should read, too.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Explaining the “Golden Age of Union Organizing”


Unions aren't just having a moment, they are having their best moment in at least 50 years.

  • What has caused the "perfect storm" of union organizing that employers are currently experiencing?
  • How have the White House's policies impacted unionization and collective bargaining?
  • What explains the trend of smaller, "in-house" unions, such as those seen at Starbucks and Amazon?
  • How should employers assess their labor strategies in response to these changes?

This week, I joined the ProjectHR Podcast to discuss The Golden Age of Union Organizing, the forces that are helping to cause it, and how employers should be responding and reacting.

Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode.


You can listen to the entire episode here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Breaches of confidentiality during internal investigations chill future reports of workplace misconduct


"Nothing you share will be attributed to you and your feedback will remain anonymous."

That's what an HR consultant advised employees of BrewDog prior to their participation in an anonymous workplace culture review of the international brewing company.

Kate Bernot reports at Good Beer Hunting, however, that at least one former employee who participated discovered that her personal information was provided to company leadership.
Charlotte Cook says her name and details of conversations about her time at BrewDog—which focused on workplace safety, problems with human resources, and the circumstances under which she left the company—were provided by [HR consultant] Wiser to BrewDog without her knowledge or consent.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Court upholds termination of employee for off-duty Facebook posts critical of Black Lives Matter


"Black lives" matter causes segregation. Have you ever hear[d] of "white lives" matter or "[J]ewish" lives matter[?] No. Equal opportunity.
That's what Heather McVey posted to her personal Facebook account in the wake of George Floyd's murder and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests.

An administrator of the hospital at which McVey worked as a nurse discovered her post, and, following an investigation the hospital fired her. Its stated reason was that "she posted on her social media a clearly racist dog whistle post, which was inconsistent with the vision and the mission and the core values of AtlantiCare."

Monday, May 23, 2022

Federal court holds that the NLRB doesn’t have a sense of humor


On June 6, 2019, unionized employees of Vox Media, a left-leaning digital media company, walked off the job during union contract negotiations. That same day, Ben Domenech, executive officer of FDRLST Media and publisher of The Federalist (which is the direct opposite of left-leaning), posted this tweet from his personal Twitter account: "FYI @fdrlst first one of you tries to unionize I swear I’ll send you back to the salt mine."

Following the filing of an unfair labor practice charge by someone with absolutely no relationship with FDRLST Media (employment or otherwise), the NLRB concluded that Domenech's tweet violated employees' rights to unionize or otherwise engage in protected concerted activity, agreeing with the administrative law judge that the tweet was an "obvious threat" that "working conditions would worsen or employee benefits would be jeopardized if employees attempted to unionize." 

Friday, May 20, 2022

WIRTW #626: the “seminar/webinar” edition


If you're located in Northeast Ohio and don't have our upcoming Wickens Workshop on your calendar, why not? I, along with two of my colleagues, will be tackling the key wage and hour issues facing your business. We'll be joined by Mark D'Agostino of ConnectedHR, who will moderate the panel discussion

Here are the details:
  • When: Thurs., June 9
  • Light Breakfast: 8 am
  • Program: 8:30 - 10 am
  • Location: Main Event Avon, 35605 Chester Road
  • Cost: Free
Space is limited. Register here by June 2.

If you're not in Northeast Ohio, or you're also looking for a virtual event to attend, on Wednesday, May 26, from 11a - noon, I'll be presenting the webinar Think Before You Click for HR Acuity, discussing the legal and practical impact of social media on your workplace. This webinar is also free. Register here. Bonus: HR Acuity will donate $10 for each person who registers to the Global Giving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund and the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Here's what I read this past week that you should be reading, too.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Do we need labor unions anymore?


When I challenge the continued viability of labor unions and the lack of benefits they offer to or confer upon 21st century employees, this is the refrain I often hear.

Minimum wage ✔️
Overtime ✔️
OSHA ✔️  
Child labor protections ✔️
Anti-discrimination laws ✔️ 
ERISA ✔️

None of those laws, I'm told, would exist without the historic efforts put forth by labor unions. 

You know what? That statement is 100 percent correct. Labor unions played a huge role in the passage of the FLSA, OSHA, ERISA, and Title VII, each of which granted a wealth of new rights and protections to employees.

They also help render labor unions irrelevant.