Showing posts with label labor relations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label labor relations. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

“Striketober” highlights union organizing concerns for Ohio craft breweries

One of the unexpected byproducts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is a corresponding rise in union organizing and other union-related activity. This crisis has magnified attention on key union agenda items and talking points such as worker safety and higher pay. Unions have not been shy about pressing these issues. "Striketober" is in full effect, with more than 100,000 workers walking off the job in the past week alone. According to The Wall Street Journal, employees are angry and are increasingly turning to labor unions to vent.

Unions, however, are not just focusing on current members. More importantly for all employers, potential members also have unions' full attention. Indeed, earlier this summer, and hitting way too close to home, production employees at Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio's oldest and largest craft brewery, signed union cards to be represented by the United Steelworkers.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Netflix’s termination of the organizer of a trans employee walkout very well might be legal

Late Friday, The Verge reported that Netflix fired one of the leaders of an internal trans employee resource group who was organizing an employee walkout later this week. The employee had been encouraging trans employees and allies to walk off the job in protest of Netflix's handling of the Dave Chappelle special The Closer (in which the comedian and the streamer have been criticized for the special's transphobic content).

According to the report, Netflix fired the employee based on its suspicion that s/he leaked confidential metrics on the Chappelle Special to Bloomberg, including how much Netflix paid for it and how many have streamed it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

When protected concerted activity isn’t protected

Netflix has fired three marketing executives for criticizing their co-workers over Slack. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "the executives in question thought the messages were private. An insider says an employee stumbled across several months’ worth of these messages and reported it."

Friday, February 19, 2021

The number one reason not to have a labor union

You would think that an employee who purposely defecates on the workplace floor in an act of revenge against his boss and then brags about it is worthy of termination. And you'd be correct 100 percent of the time … unless that employee is a member of a labor union. An arbitration board cited the employee's lengthy, faithful service record to the company and other mitigating circumstances in reinstating him. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

When you discover that you employ a seditious rebel #TraitorsGettingFired

Imagine you discover that Elizabeth from Knoxville is one of your employees.

Or what about Jake Angeli (the self-proclaimed QAnon shamen)?

Or Paul Davis?

Or this guy, who actually wore his work badge to the protest?

Or any of the others amid the hoard of seditious rebels who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday in an act of open rebellion against the United States and its government?

Question: Should these people be fired from their jobs?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

BLM vs. MAGA at work

Depending on your political perspective, Goodyear is either being praised or criticized after this slide from diversity training at its Topeka, Kansas, plant went viral.

BLM or LGBT messages on clothing okay; MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, or other political symbols not okay.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Meet the new boss, same as the old, old boss—NLRB issues long-awaited final rule on “joint employment”

Yesterday, the NLRB announced its long-awaited final rule governing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act.

The rule clarifies that for an employer to qualify as a “joint employer” it must “possess and exercise such substantial direct and immediate control over one or more essential terms and conditions of employment of another employer’s employees.”

Monday, February 10, 2020

Amazon’s crackdown on employee climate-change protesters is a teachable moment on employee speech rights

Earlier this year, Amazon threatened to fire two employees who spoke out against the company’s stance on climate change. In addition, the company also issued a new employee communications policy.

The protest started last April when a group calling itself Amazon Employees for Climate Justice published a letter signed by more than 8,700 employees. It called on Amazon to adopt a company-wide plan to address climate change. As the protests intensified, Amazon ultimately reacted with the new policy and the job threats.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Labor issues when you acquire a company with a union

Spotify recently announced that it is acquiring The Ringer, one of the most prolific and popular podcasting networks. Spotify also indicated that it intends to hire all of The Ringers’ 90 employees, most of whom work on, which covers sports and culture and which Spotify indicates it will keep up and running.

Last summer, 66 of those 90 employees signed union-authorization cards stating their support for the Writers Guild of America East to represent them as their collective bargaining representative. Shortly thereafter, The Ringer management voluntarily recognized the Guild as the union representative for its employees.

What does this mean for Spotify? Is it acquiring a labor union as part of its purchase of The Ringer? Like most legal questions, the answer depends on a number of factors.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Federal appeals court orders NLRB to determine whether workplace harassment laws trump the National Labor Relations Act

You might recall Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, a 2018 NLRB case in which the Board held that offensive graffiti scrawled on an employee’s timesheet (“whore board”) constituted a lawful exercise of protected concerted activity.

Recently, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the NLRB shirked its responsibility by not considering addressing any alleged conflict between its interpretation of the NLRA and the Company’s obligations under state and federal equal employment opportunity laws to maintain a harassment-free workplace.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

NLRB rolls back 2 key Obama era anti-management decisions

This week, the National Labor Relations Board decided two cases that rolled back key Obama era anti-management NLRB decisions.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The 4 things you cannot do to pro-union employees (hint: number 1 is fire them)

Four former Google employees claim that their ex-employer fired them Thanksgiving week in retaliation for their efforts to organize a labor union. According to CNBC, the NLRB is now investigating the firings. For its part, Google denies that anti-union animus played any roll in the firings.

We dismissed four individuals who were engaged in intentional and often repeated violations of our longstanding data security policies, including systematically accessing and disseminating other employees’ materials and work. No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Girl Scouts good / union organizers bad

What rights do you have to ban union organizers from your property? A lot. Your property is your property.

What if, however, you allow your employee’s daughter’s Girl Scout troop to set up a table outside and sell cookies? Have you just opened yourself to an argument that allowing cookie sales unlawfully discriminates against the banned union organizers?

Monday, September 9, 2019

NLRB asks for help to overturn some really $%#^ bad decisions

“Bob is such a NASTY MOTHER FUCKER don’t know how to talk to people!!!!!! Fuck his mother and his entire fucking family!!!! What a LOSER!!!!”

“Hey, did you bring enough KFC for everyone?” “Go back to Africa, you bunch of fucking losers.” “Hey anybody smell that? I smell fried chicken and watermelon.”

You’d think that if any of your employees lobbed any of these bombs at a supervisor or coworker, you’d have no legal issue if you fired them. And you’d be right … usually.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

You are DUMB if you threaten to fire employees who support labor unions, and even DUMBER if you tweet about it #barstool

Meet Dave Portnoy. He’s the editor of Barstool Sports, a website that I can only describe as having missed the memo entirely on #MeToo. Mr. Portnoy describes himself as: “El Presidente/3 time Bee Sting survivor. Heart attack survivor. 2019 #dipoff champion. Shot 4 under at Shinnecock. Worshipped like a 3rd world dictator.”


Portnoy also holds some strong opinions, including about labor unions.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Labor and employment lessons from the world’s most combative stripper

Different type of stripper
Meet Brandi Campbell, a stripper and self-proclaimed labor activist for other strippers nationwide. She maintains, where she provides dancers with information about their legal rights, including their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. She’s filed (and won) unfair labor practice charges against clubs in Nevada, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, alleging that they discriminated/retaliated against her for engaging in statutorily protected activities and deprived dancers of their statutory rights by misclassifying them as independent contractors.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

NLRB offers significant and important guidance on its new(ish) employee handbook rules

It’s been just over 18 months since the NLRB decided Boeing Co., perhaps its most significant decision in decades. It rewrote more than a decade of precedent by overturning its Lutheran Heritage standard regarding when facially neutral employment policies violate the rights of employees to engage in concerted activity protected by section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

In Boeing, the Board scrapped Lutheran Heritage’s “reasonably construe” test (a work rule violates section 7 if an employee could “reasonably construe” an infringement of their section 7 rights) with a test that balances “asserted business justifications and the invasion of employee rights” by weighing “(i) the nature and extent of the potential impact on NLRA rights, and (ii) legitimate justifications associated with the requirement(s).” It was a huge win for employers drafting and issuing workplace policies.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bathroom conversations aren't private conversations

Michael Woods, a mortgage banker at Quicken Loans, was having a bad day at work. A customer Woods had helped four years ago had been trying to get in touch with a Client Specialist; the company routed the call to Woods because of their prior relationship. He aired his grievance to a co-worker, Austin Laff, while they were in the bathroom together. "The client should get in touch with a fucking Client Care Specialist and quit wasting my fucking time."

Jorge Mendez, a supervisor, overheard this conversation from a stall. He responded with an all-employee email reminding everyone of proper conduct in public areas. "Never, EVER, should we be swearing in the bathroom especially about clients."

Monday, March 11, 2019

What a lawful "civility" policy looks like under the NLRB's Boeing test

Consider and compare the following workplace civility policies:

Commitment to My Co-Workers
  • I will accept responsibility for establishing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships with you and every member of this team.
  • I will talk to your promptly if I am having a problem with you. The only time I will discuss it with another person is when I need advice or help in deciding how to communicate with you appropriately.
  • I will not complain about another team member and ask you not to as well. If I hear you doing so, I will ask you to talk to that person.
  • I will be committed to finding solutions to problems rather than complaining about them or blaming someone for them, and ask you to do the same. 



Blogging outside of the hospital must not include … disparaging comments about the hospital.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

As seen on Reddit: Salary discussion bans are a BIG legal no-no

AriesAviator posted the following question in the LegalAdvice subreddit:

Boss just threatened to fire me and another co-worker because we were discussing a raise we both got- what should I do?
We both got pulled into a group chat over the app our work uses, and the first message reads as follows;

Hey I don't want to here about your raises with the other crew members we talked about this before, other places have strict rules either termination or reversal of the raise this is not okay, Don't turn something we tried to do nice for you too into a pain for us.

Which, uh, what the fuck?

I'm pretty fucking sure everything in there is MASSIVELY illegal.