Offensive Language May Be Protected Concerted Activity

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the National Labor Relations Board sufficiently addressed the conflict between an employer’s obligations under federal antidiscrimination laws and employee’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act in finding unlawful an employee’s termination for writing “whore board” at the top of two overtime sign-up sheets.…

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7 trends likely to shape HR in 2022

From the Great Resignation to vaccine mandate confusion, last year was a wild ride for HR. Some things may not have cleared up much — like when the pandemic will end or when the labor market will stabilize — but current predictions build on the learnings from the last 12 months. Nearly two years into…

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Employees Working from Home – How Should Company’s React?

With the country reopening due to the lessening of COVID-related restrictions, companies and employees are returning to a new “normal.” Remote working has become a recruiting tool for some companies. For other companies which have required employees to return to the office, the failure to continue to allow some form of remote working (“hybrid model”)…

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NLRB Looks to Circumstances to Determine Duration of Confidentiality Requirement in Investigation

In Alcoa Corp., the National Labor Relations Board addressed an important issue to both non-union and unionized employers alike concerning workplace investigations. Most importantly, the Board reaffirmed that an employer does not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it instructs employees to keep investigative interviews confidential for the duration of the workplace investigation.…

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Employers React to Workers Who Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccination

As COVID-19 vaccines become widely available, many employers are asking if they can require employees to get vaccinated, and what they can do if workers refuse. Some employers are firing workers who won’t take the vaccine. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has weighed in with guidance that answers some workplace vaccination questions. Employers may encourage or…

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It’s Time Again for Employers to Ensure Handbook Compliance

It is early in 2021 and already the NLRB has before it ALJ determinations that employee handbook policies conflict with the NLRA. When analyzing employee handbook policies, the Board generally applies the Boeing test, whereby a handbook policy’s potential interference with employee rights under the NLRA is balanced against an employer’s legitimate justifications for the policy, when…

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DOL Moves to Rescind Joint Employment, Independent Contractor Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor plans to rescind a Trump-era regulation on joint employment and an impending regulation on independent contractor use, it said in a March 11 announcement. The joint employment rule took effect in March 2020 and limited employers’ liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A federal district court, however, vacated large portions of the…

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Under the Biden Administration, Turbulence Awaits Employers at the NLRB

President Joe Biden wasted little time in making his mark on the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “the Board”) – a development of import to all employers, as the law it enforces, the National Labor Relations Act, protects the rights of all employees, not just union members, to engage in concerted activity regarding the…

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The End of an Era? NLRB Holds Lawful Employer’s Rules Restricting Employee Communications on Social Media

Last week, the NLRB held in a 2-1 decision that an employer’s rules restricting certain types of employee communications on social media were lawful under the NLRA. However, the Board panel was sharply divided between its Republican majority and Lauren McFerran, its sole Democratic member. In a strongly worded dissent, Member McFerran took issue with the ruling,…

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