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Columbus Business First Covers Recent National Labor Relations Board Rulings

Justin A. Morocco, an Associate at Mowery Youell & Galeano, Ltd., was quoted in a Columbus Business First story entitled "Labor board has attorneys working overtime to keep up with rulings."  The story covered recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulings on the use of social media by employees and whether companies can require contract disputes to be settled through arbitration.

Labor Board Recess Appointments Under Challenge

Cases are emerging challenging whether President Barack Obama overstepped his constitutional authority when he relied on recess appointment powers to appoint three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  After the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court holding in New Process Steel v. NLRB that two members are not enough for a NLRB quorum, these recess appointments are necessary in many cases to provide authority for the NLRB to act.  Obama appointed three members to the Board on January 4, 2012, bypassing Senate confirmation by claiming lawmakers were in recess and unable to advise and consent on the nominations.   Presidents are permitted to make appointments without Senate confirmation only during a recess.  The Obama Administration has claimed authority to make such appointments because they have found the Senate was on a 20-day recess, even though it has held periodic pro forma sessions in which no business is conducted.

National Labor Relations Board Posting Penalties Exceed Authority

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision today finding that the NLRB posting requirement provision deeming a failure to post an unfair labor practice (ULP) and tolling the statute of limitations in ULP actions against employers who fail to post violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are invalid as a matter of law.

Labor Union Fines Upheld Even Without Work

Employees should thoroughly review the obligations they are agreeing to when considering whether to join a Labor Union.  A recent case from the Ninth District Court of Appeals from Medina, Ohio demonstrates that Union membership could cost you, literally.  The Court in Bricklayers' Local Union No. 5 v. Ramey, 9th Dist. No. 10CA0121, 2011-Ohio-6331, upheld a Union's power to fine its members for violations of union rules. 

National Labor Relations Board Rules Arbitration Provision Violates Act

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on January 6, 2012 that it is a violation of federal labor law, specifically Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to require employees to sign arbitration agreements that prevent them from joining together to pursue employment-related legal claims in any forum, whether in arbitration or in court.

National Labor Relations Board's Speedy Election Rule

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a new final rule on December 26, 2011 limiting an employer's ability to challenge certain election procedures.  The final rule is currently set to go into effect on April 12, 2012; however, like the new notice posting (now effective April 30, 2012), this new rule is subject to legal challenge.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Coalition for a Democratic Workplace have both filed lawsuits in federal district court challenging the new rule seeking injunctive relief.  The lawsuits challenge the Board's authority to issue the new rule, citing violations of the First and Fifth Amendments.

Obama Makes Recess Appointments to National Labor Relations Board

President Obama announced his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Griffin.  Senate Republicans have opposed the recess appointments to the NLRB on constitutional grounds. 

National Labor Relations Board Postpones Notice Posting Again

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has again postponed the effective date of its employees' rights notice posting. This time the postponement came at the request of the federal court in Washington, DC hearing a legal challenge regarding the rule. The Board determined that postponing the effective date of the rule facilitates the resolution of the legal challenges that have been filed with respect to the rule. The new employees' rights notice posting requirement date is April 30, 2012.

National Labor Relations Board Postpones Notice Requirement

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) postponed the implementation date for the new notice-posting rule until January 31, 2012.  The Board indicated that the delay was to "allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses."

National Labor Relations Board Provides Social Media Guidance

Employees' uses of Facebook and Twitter have provided the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with an expanded area of enforcement. The NLRB recently issued a guidance memorandum on employee use of social media and their protections under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). While not containing decisions by the Board, the memorandum provides insight into how the NLRB would handle unfair labor practice charges involving Facebook or Twitter. The NLRB's Office of the General Counsel's report identifies fourteen cases investigated within the past year involving social media use in the labor and employment setting. The report provides guidance as to how the Office of the General Counsel views the issues presented by social media.

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