Absolute Freedom to Tweet? Employers (and the NLRA) May Have Something to Say About ItDo you need a social media policy or are the legal obstacles just too much? Now more than ever, people are exercising their First Amendment right to free speech, which, not surprisingly, can cause heartburn at the workplace. In times of contention, stress, and uncertainty, speech often multiplies, and, in an era where someone’s speech

Political Speech, Conduct & Activity in the Workplace Amid A Social Justice MovementTraditionally, it has been taboo to discuss religion, politics, or divisive matters of public concern in the workplace. Most employers want the worksite to be about work and want to avoid controversial and potentially offensive discourse. However, in the current political climate, amid a global health pandemic, and the movement for social justice gaining unprecedented

National Labor Relations Board Reverses Another Obama-Era  Labor Board Ruling and Reinstates Historical Deferral DoctrineThe National Labor Relations Board in recent weeks has continued to overturn Board decisions from President Obama’s administration. In United Parcel Service, Inc., the current Republican-controlled Board returned to a long-standing legal standard for “deferring” unfair labor practices to private arbitration.

The Issue

Often when workers are disciplined, whether in a union or nonunion setting,

The NLRA, Protected Activity, and the F-BombWhen, if ever, is swearing at your supervisor or coworkers a federally protected activity? The National Labor Relations Board (Board) currently is reconsidering what constitutes protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, the board is trying to clarify when workers can be protected from discipline for using profanity or engaging in harassing

But We Tried to Do It Right! Stand-Alone Misclassification of Independent Contractor May Not Be a ViolationRecently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued another pro-employer decision, resolving an issue at the forefront of employment law, independent contractor classification.  In Velox Express, Inc. and Jeannie Edge, the NLRB determined that misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor alone does not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Background

Velox

The Supreme Court Says Yes to Arbitration and Class Action Waivers

With its 5-4 ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the Supreme Court delivered a seemingly big win for employers. The Supreme Court held that employees’ waiver of their rights to bring collective or class actions, as a term of an arbitration agreement,

The NLRB/EEOC Landmine – When Does Offensive Speech Amount to Protected Activity?Employers need to be on the lookout for instances of offensive employee speech, which may put them between a rock and a hard place as they navigate potential claims under either anti-discrimination laws or federal labor laws.

You have probably heard that Google terminated an employee earlier this month for saying (among other things) that

Angry person behind computerThe Second Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in to support the NLRB’s finding that an employee’s profanity-ridden social media posting about his employer (and his employer’s mother) was not so offensive that it went beyond the protections of the NLRA for union-related activity. This decision again shows the wide latitude given to employees to engage

Business man signing a contract

The NLRB wants to stop class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements, arguing they violate the National Labor Relations Act. This issue has been raging for several years and divided federal courts. As reported in our November 2, 2015, blog post, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a class action waiver in the