Mastodon Ohio Employer Law Blog: labor relations : Ohio Employment and Labor Law, by Jon Hyman
Showing posts with label labor relations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label labor relations. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Update on Creature Comfort Brewing’s union organizing


Last week I reported that the employees of Creature Comforts Brewing Co. formed their own independent labor union, the Brewing Union of Georgia (aka BUG) and announced their intent to unionize their workplace.

A lot can happen in a week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

What does Creature Comfort’s union announcement mean for your craft brewery?


The employees of Creature Comforts Brewing Co. recently held a rally to announce their intent to form a labor union. They also announced the formation of the Brewing Union of Georgia, an independent union created by the brewery's employees with the stated goal of spreading their movement across their state. Despite the union's "independence," it has received assistance and guidance from assistance from the United Campus Workers of Georgia and the Workers Center at the Economic Justice Coalition.

This is HUGE news for the craft beer industry.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Employers, for the love of God, please stop banning employees from discussing their wages


I came across the following recent post on the legaladvice subreddit.

Work for a brewery. GM and owner … informed everyone that we needed to sign a contract essentially stating that if ANY employee was found to be discussing wages, they would be terminated immediately.… As of last week, GM let everyone know that any employee who hasn't signed the paper will be looked at as a voluntary resignation. I should probably add that, of course, we have no union.

This is what we labor and employment lawyers call … what's the term … ILLEGAL

Monday, December 12, 2022

A tale of two employee nondisclosure agreements


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…." This is perhaps the most famous opening line in the history of literature, A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. It's also an apt description of how two tech giants—Apple and Twitter—recently handled the issue of employee nondisclosure agreements.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Musings on dead dogs and terminated managers


We are no longer taking ANY EXCUSE for calling off. If you're sick, you need to come prove it to us. If your dog died, you need to bring him in and prove it to us. If it's a "family emergency," too bad. Go work somewhere else.

That was part of a written message an Olive Garden manager in Kansas recently delivered to his staff. The message that Olive Garden corporate delivered to that manager — "You're fired."

Thursday, November 17, 2022

I have zero sympathy for insubordinate employees who are fired


This is how it started.

This is how it's ended (for now).

In the intervening 48 hours, Elon Musk reportedly fired dozens of Twitter employees who criticized him publicly on Twitter and privately in the company's Slack channel. The first to go was Eric Frohnhoefer, a Twitter engineer who publicly challenged Musk's knowledge of how the app's backend actually works. Other employees, like this one, took to Mastodon to challenge Musk's termination of Frohnhoefer in obscenity laced rants.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

If your surveilling employees, the NLRB is watching you


Wearable trackers. Security cameras. GPS trackers. Keyloggers. Live webcam monitoring. Technology has made it easier for employers to monitor and manage their employees' productivity and discipline employees who fall short of expectations. Moreover, technology makes it possible for employers to continue tracking employees after the workday ends via employer-issued cellphone or wearable devices, and apps installed in employees' own devices.  

Employers are monitoring employees, and the NLRB is monitoring employers' use of these monitoring technologies.

NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo just issued a memo on Electronic Monitoring and Algorithmic Management of Employees Interfering with the Exercise of Section 7 Rights.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Are unions cool (again)?


Are unions cool again? Were they ever cool? 

On the most recent episode of Good Morning, HR, I sat down with host Mike Coffey to discuss the current wave of unionization that is sweeping the nation.
  • The main factors causing a renewed focus on unionization.
  • How Gen-Z has been energized to pursue safe and fair workplace environments.
  • The signs that employees are ready to unionize.
  • The best way that employers can avoid unionization.
  • Actions employers should take when faced with an organization effort.
  • The limits of employers and organizers during a union campaign.
You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, on the Good Morning, HR website, and everywhere else you get your podcasts. You can even watch on YouTube.

To whet your appetite, here's a quick tease. I answer the question, "What should the employer do when they first get wind that there's card collection activity going on?"


Monday, October 24, 2022

This is what buyers’ remorse looks like


On May 9, 2022, the baristas working at the Starbucks store located at 1123 NW 63rd St., Nichols Hills, OK 73116 voted 10-9 to unionize. It was the first unionized Starbucks in the State of Oklahoma.

On the heels of the "victory," Collin Pollitt, the barista that led the unionization movement in that region, said this: "Today, we have become true partners in our organizing for a more just labor structure, where workers have a say in their workplace and earn a baseline living wage. We have reined in corporate power, and we carry on the banner of Martin Luther King Jr. with the idea that all labor has dignity."

A mere 163 days later, however, it appears that the store's employees have caught a case of buyer's remorse, as they have filed a decertification petition with the National Labor Relations Board. Unfortunately for them, however, whether they still want to be unionized or not, their petition and decertification effort is doomed to fail, and they will be stuck with their union, at least until May 9, 2023.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Unions: fad or trend?


Last Friday I joined my good friend Eric Meyer via Zoom on his weekly Employer Handbook Zoom Office Happy Hour. Our topic: whether the recent rise in union popularity and success is a fad or a trend

If you missed it live, you can watch the video replay via The Employer Handbook YouTube Channel.


And if you're the kind of person who wants to hear more of my voice (and who isn't?), then please check out this week's episode of The Norah and Dad Show, the podcast I co-host with my daughter. It's available via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Amazon Music, Stitcher, the web, and everywhere else you find podcasts.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Jousting over union names and trademarks


One of the trends that has come through in the recent wave of unionization is the use by labor unions of corporate names and logos in their branding.

📦 Amazon Labor Union
☕ Starbucks Workers United
📱 Apple Retail Union
⚔️ Medieval Times Performers United

It's the latter that has caught the ire of the employer (Medieval Times), which has now filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the union.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Ex-Starbucks manager throws employer under the bus for its alleged anti-union retaliation


"I didn't want to do illegal stuff. I've worked my entire life to build up a career of integrity, and I was not going to allow Starbucks to take that from me."

That's what David Almond, the former manager of several of Buffalo-area Starbucks told an NLRB administrative law judge earlier year, according to information received by Bloomberg pursuant to its Freedom of Information Act request.

What "illegal stuff?" 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Why employees are quitting might also tell you why they are unionizing


Why are employees quitting their jobs? StandOutCV (as reported by TLNT) wanted to know the answer, so it analyzed 2,698 recent social media posts where someone revealed the specific reason(s) for their resignation.

Here are the top 10 results.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Is a labor union liable for damages caused by its members during a strike


Suppose your employees walk off the job in protest of stalled negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement. Further suppose that their union (allegedly) coordinates the strike with the precise time your concrete is being mixed and delivered for the day, causing the destruction of your product.

Can you hold the union liable under state law for their alleged tortious conduct?

According to the State of Washington's Supreme Court, the answer is "no."

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Show this story to your employees who start clamoring for a union


When a labor union is engaged in organizing your employees, you are allowed to present facts to your employees to attempt to convince them to vote union "no." Here's a big ol' fact for you to file away if the need ever arises.


Monday, September 19, 2022

The NLRB is inching towards Weingarten Rights for all employees


In NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held that employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are entitled to request the presence of a union representative during an investigatory interview that the employee reasonably believes may result in disciplinary action. 

In the 47 years post-Weingarten, however, the Board has vacillated on the issue of whether those rights also extend to non-union employees. For example, in 2000, in Epilepsy Foundation of Northeast Ohio, the Clinton-era Board found that employees in non-union settings have Weingarten rights to a coworker representative during investigatory interviews. More recently, however, the Bush-era Board, in IBM Corp., concluded the exact opposite, that, in light of certain policy considerations, the Board would no longer find that employees in non-union workplaces have the right to a coworker representative. Finally, in 2017, an Obama-era Board Advice Memo called for the Board to flip again and hold Weingarten rights extend to employees in non-union workplaces.

Which brings us to last week's Board decision in Troy Grove

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Like herpes, the NLRB’s efforts to liberalize its joint employer standard just won’t go away


Joint employment under the NLRA has a tortured history over the past seven years. 

Yesterday, the NLRB released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to rewrite the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act.

Under the current joint employer standard — to which the NLRB adhered until the Browning-Ferris decision in Aug. 2015, and to which it formally reverted in Apr. 2020 — one employer is only a joint employer with another employer if it possesses and exercises "substantial direct and immediate control" over the terms and conditions of employment of another employer's employees.

Joint employment matters … a lot … because if you're a joint employer over the employees of another employer you are jointly and severally liable for the legal wrongs committed by the primary employer. Under the NLRA you also would share collective bargaining responsibility.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Checking the pulse of the American worker on labor unions as we enter Labor Day Weekend


The following stats should be eye-opening for any business owner, CEO, or board of directors.
  • 71 percent of Americans "approve" of labor unions, the highest reported approval rating since 1965.
  • 70 percent of non-union employees say that they would consider joining a union, up 141% in just three years.
  • Unions win approximately 75 percent of all representation elections.

What does all of these stats mean? If a union organizer starts talking to your employees about unionizing, the odds are high that your business will end up unionized. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Pizza shop closure is a teachable lesson on union avoidance


We are truly heartbroken to announce that we've made the difficult decision to permanently close both Knead Slice Shop and Knead Market effective immediately (August 23, 2022), regardless of the outcome or the occurrence of the requested union election.

We respect the right of workers to organize under the National Labor Relations Act or other appropriate laws. We hope our workers will recognize our related right as an employer, especially a small employer, during these extremely difficult operational times, to close our entire business operation.

We continue to wish our employees well. 

That's what a pizza shop posted to its Instagram last week, announcing its decision to shutter all of its operations, permanently.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

NLRB re-writes law on employees displaying union logos at work


Tesla's General Assembly plant maintained the following dress code: "It is mandatory that all Production Associates and Leads wear the assigned team wear." For production associates, "team wear" consists of a black cotton shirt with the Tesla's logo and black cotton pants with no buttons, rivets, or exposed zippers, all which Tesla provides.

In the Spring of 2017, however, certain production associates started wearing black t-shirts with the phrase, "Driving a Fair Future at Tesla," along with the logo for the United Auto Workers.

Tesla banned the UAW shirts under its "Team Wear" policy, claiming that the ban limited the risk of alternative clothing damaging vehicles on the production line and made it easier to keep track of employees on the shop floor.

In a split 3-2 decision, the NLRB held that Tesla unlawfully prohibited its employees from wearing shirts with the UAW's logo.