Category Archives: Labor Relations/NLRB

NLRB FINDS CHIPOTLE’S POLICIES UNLAWFUL

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) continues its focus on overly-broad work policies – now in a non-union workplace – with a recent decision against Chipotle Mexican Grill. Although the Board found Chipotle violated the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) by (1) maintaining overly-broad social media and work policies, (2) ordering an employee to quit circulating a petition, and (3) firing the employee when he refused to do so, it found the employer did not violate the Act by asking the employee to remove certain tweets from his Twitter account. This case provides additional guidance on what is and is not permissible in work rules, particularly as they apply to social media posts by employees. Read More »

LISTEN TO THIS: PIONEER PIPE, INC. V. SWAIN REVERSES 30 YEAR OLD RULE OF LAW THAT LIMITED WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CHARGEABILITY ATTACHING TO EMPLOYERS

The claimant worked as a heavy equipment operator for various employers over a thirty-three year period, during which he was routinely exposed to loud noises from the machines he operated and from equipment being used around him. The claimant worked for his last employer for a total of forty hours. After he was subsequently diagnosed with hearing loss directly attributable to industrial noise exposure, the claimant filed a hearing loss claim for worker’s compensation benefits. Read More »

NOT AS “EASY” AS IT APPEARS: THE THIRD CIRCUIT RULES THAT CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT VIOLATES THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT

Recently, in a case of first impression in the Third Circuit, a Delaware bankruptcy judge presiding over an adversary action in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Fresh & Easy LLC ruled that a class action waiver in an employment arbitration agreement violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Read More »

POKÉMON GO: AT (OR COMING TO) A WORKPLACE NEAR YOU

If you haven’t already heard, Pokémon Go, a virtual reality app created by Nintendo and Niantic, is taking the world by storm. According to Forbes, the app is about to surpass Twitter on the Android platform in daily active users, even though it was first released just a couple weeks ago in the United States and Australia and has not yet been made available worldwide. More and more people are getting in on the action, exploring real world landscapes with their smart phones in hopes of capturing virtual Pokémon appearing on their screen based on their phone’s clock and GPS location. It seems that no location is off limits, as Pokémon appear on or near both public and private property – even in bathrooms. As the Pokémon franchise motto commands, users “Gotta Catch ’Em All” at designated “Pokéstops” in their quest to become a renown Pokémon “trainer” who can out battle other users at local, virtual “Gyms.” Read More »

HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

Having a solid confidentiality policy can protect your business from liability as well as protect your proprietary information. Thus, all employers should have a policy which governs the confidentiality of personnel information (social security numbers, medical information, etc.) management information (investigations, employee discipline, etc.) and business information (financial information, customer information, proprietary information, etc.).
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YELP “KNOWS JUST THE PLACE” TO COMPLAIN, EXCEPT FOR ITS EMPLOYEES.

Yelp’s recent advertising campaign tells would-be users in search of businesses and services, “We know just the place.” Yelp provides an online forum where users can utilize star-ratings and comments to share their experiences with fellow consumers. Recently, the site has evolved into a venue for consumers to mercilessly complain about their subjectively mediocre experiences. The complaints can sometimes escalate to the point where fellow consumers won’t darken a business’s doorstep based upon its Yelp reviews. Read More »

THESE AREN’T THE EMPLOYEES YOU’RE LOOKING FOR: STOPPING INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS FROM BECOMING FULL-FLEDGED EMPLOYEES

The use of independent contractors is a growing trend in the American economy, and many believe the trend is here to stay.  Independent contractors come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Companies like Uber rely almost exclusively on independent contractors, and there has been significant increase in the use of independent contractors for a variety of duties (in nearly all industries). Read More »

DESPITE UNCONSTITUTIONAL APPOINTMENTS, NLRB AUTHORITY CONSIDERED RETROACTIVELY VALID BY THE THIRD CIRCUIT

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that actions taken by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), including its Regional Directors, during a time when it did not maintain a constitutionally valid quorum are nevertheless binding and have full legal force.  In Advanced Disposal Servs. E., Inc. v. NLRB, the NLRB found that an employer violated sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it refused to collectively bargain with a newly-certified bargaining unit.  The NLRB issued an order to enforce the election, and the employer appealed.  Read More »

EMPLOYEE, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OR HYBRID?

On April 19, 2016, the District of Columbia Circuit, held that Orchestra musicians were employees, not independent contractors.  Lancaster Symphony Orchestra v NLRB.  The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) guarantees employees, but not independent contractors, the right to join a union.  In making the determination as to whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) considers ten factors: Read More »