On April 14, 2015 the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new union election rules (Election Rules) went into effect. As discussed in a prior GT Alert, the NLRB adopted the new rules by a 3-2 vote with the two Republican NLRB members dissenting. As outlined below, the Election Rules make significant changes to the Board’s procedures for processing election petitions, holding hearings, and conducting secret-ballot elections. Most significantly, the Election Rules pave the way for union elections to be held in as few as 14–21 days after the filing of a union petition, a dramatic decrease from the current median time of 38 days.
Continue Reading New Union Election Rules in Effect as of April 14, 2015

In May, this blog discussed the National Labor Relations Board (the Board or NLRB)’s potential targeting of policies regulating employee use of company email for non-business purposes. In inviting the filing of amicus briefs on the issue, (Purple Commc’ns, Inc., NLRB, No. 21-CA-95151, invitation to file briefs 5/1/14), the Board signaled that it may overturn the Bush-era Register Guard decision, 351 NLRB 1110 (2007), which held that employees do not have a Section 7 right to use their employer-provided email for union organizing.

As expected, in his Monday, June 16, 2014 brief, the NLRB’s General Counsel criticized the Register Guard decision, stating “the Board should hold that employees who use their employer’s electronic communications systems to perform their work have a statutory right to use those systems for Section 7 purposes during nonwork time, absent a showing of special circumstances relating to the employer’s need to maintain production and discipline.” 
Continue Reading NLRB To Revisit Use of Company Email in Union Organizing

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board” or “NLRB”) under The President has broadly interpreted the protections afforded under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).  Section 7 gives employees the right to engage in concerted activity for mutual aid and protection and to form, join or assist labor unions.  Employees also have the right to communicate about organizing and other union matters as part of their Section 7 rights.   Despite the incorrect assumption that even some attorneys often make, the Act applies to union and nonunion employers alike.

In expanding protections under Section 7, the Board has struck down what were previously considered customary and fairly innocuous workplace policies.  For example, the Board has struck down workplace policies requiring employees not to discuss confidential investigations (GT Blog, March 14, 2013) as well as overbroad social media policies governing what employees can and cannot post on social media websites or blogs.  These decisions have had considerable ramifications for employers who perhaps previously had paid little attention to the NLRB.

Continue Reading NLRB To Revisit Use of Company E-Mail Accounts in Union Organizing and Personal Use