In the union context, a significant degree of “vituperative speech” is allowed in the “heat of labor relations.” For example, an owner of 10 Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in the Minneapolis-St Paul area was subject to an organizing campaign by the International Workers of the World where some disparaging comments were being served on the union. During the union campaign, various managers and employees set up an anti-union Facebook page, which was open to anyone. A National Labor Relations Board Judge recently ruled, among other things, that some conduct of management on the Facebook page constituted an unfair labor practice, interfering with an affected employee’s Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Basically, some managers posted unflattering comments regarding a pro-union employee. The case is Miklin Enterprises, Inc. and Industrial Workers of the World (case numbers 18-ca-19707; 18-ca-19727; and 18-ca-19760) (April 20, 2012). This is a recent… Continue Reading
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) sued the former CEO and CFO of an Austin-based company for failure to reimburse the company for cash bonuses, incentive and equity-based compensation (“SOX 304 compensation”) and profits received from sales of company stock during the 12-month periods following the issuance of the company’s inaccurate quarterly and annual financial statements, which were later restated. The company was required to restate its financial statements due to a fraudulent scheme by two sales executives to overstate the company’s revenues and earnings. The SEC did not allege the former CEO and CFO participated in the wrongful conduct; however, the SEC alleged they were still required to reimburse the company for the SOX 304 compensation and stock sale profits they received following the filing of the inaccurate statements. The SEC complaint can be found here.