Non-Union Workplaces Face New Employment Law Challenges From NLRB

, Corporate Counsel

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Some of your company's most common and carefully crafted human resources policies may be in jeopardy as a result of recent decisions and initiatives from the National Labor Relations Board.

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What's being said

  • Jim Kennedy

    The Board was dipping its toe into the water? Good Lord, Ms. Derewiccz, does the case of Washington Aluminum mean anything to you? Decided in 1962, fifty years ago, the concept of protected concerted activity was given the Supreme Court's imprimatur of approval long ago. There were, of course, cases before that and tons afterwards. To suggest that the Board is doing something new is misleading. For the roughly 45 years I worked for the Board, protected concerted activity was far more than a side dish for its more common union-connected matters.

    I do think it is important for corporate counsel to be aware of the Board's rules in this part of the field, and you are right to keep the issue lit on the stage; but, to suggest it is new or that the Board is being tentative is simply wrong. And your law firm knows that perfectly well. I myself had cases with your firm with concerted activity in clear focus for all concerned. Cries of "Danger! Will Robinson!" in that context suggest you are either overstating the risk or crying out for political relief. If the latter, this is the wrong forum and Section 7 is unlikely to be altered anyway.

    Do keep your clients out of trouble by proper education. Don't exaggerate the issue; it's unbecoming professionally. Your law firm is better than that (at least on the West Coast).

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