The NLRB Finalizes Its Controversial “Quickie Election” Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently voted, 3-2, to finalize its 2011 proposed regulations (the so-called “quickie election rules”), which are expected to dramatically change the union representation election process under the National Labor Relations Act.  The final rules, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2014, remain as controversial today as […]

Responsibility and Engagement as Possible Remedies for Workplace Problems

In a series of studies summarized in the July 4, 2014 issue of the journal Science, participants were subjected to electric shocks; afterwards, they agreed that they would be willing to pay money not to be shocked again.  They were then placed in isolation, awake, for 15 minutes, without cell phones, writing instruments, or other […]

NLRB Gives Employees Right to Use Company Email Systems for Union Organizing and Protected Activity

In a development expected by many observers, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled in Purple Communications Inc. that employees have the right to use their company email accounts for protected concerted activity, which may include union organizing.  The ruling reverses a prior holding by the Board from December 2007 that emphasized the employer’s property […]

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Time Spent by Employees in Mandatory Security Screenings is Not Compensable under the FLSA

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on December 9, 2014, that the time employees spend undergoing security screenings, and the time spent waiting to undergo such screenings, is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13-433, 574 U.S. ___ (2104), clarifies the standard […]

Is Your Employee Social Media Policy (Still) Lawful?

Employers are probably already familiar with the National Labor Relations Board’s prior rulings that employees’ right to engage in concerted activity protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act extends to non-unionized as well as unionized workplaces, and to online social networks as well as discussions in person. A decision by the National Labor Relations […]

Reconciling Medical Leave with Critical Deadlines Requires a Considered Approach

Your company has a major project deadline coming up, but an essential employee is about to go on unpaid FMLA leave following the birth of her child. The project has already been pushed back once, and you really need this employee’s help to avoid further complications.  Can you ask her to forgo the unpaid leave […]

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Employers’ Obligation to Offer Religious Accommodations

Introduction On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear oral argument in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., to decide the amount of notice required to trigger the employer’s obligation to provide a religious accommodation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Specifically, the Court will decide […]