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More Than Words of Disparagement: Does an Anti-Union Post Have to be Extreme to Go too Far?

In the union context, a significant degree of ?Ç£vituperative speech?Ç¥ is allowed in the ?Ç£heat of labor relations.?Ç¥?á For example, an owner of 10 Jimmy John?ÇÖs 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. ?áDuring the union campaign, various managers and employees set up an anti-union Facebook page, which was open to anyone. ?áA 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?ÇÖs Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (?Ç£NLRA?Ç¥).?á 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). ?áThis is a recent… Continue Reading

Recent NLRB Social Media Report Raises New Questions

As we have detailed in this blog and elsewhere, the National Labor Relations Board (?Ç£NLRB?Ç¥ or the ?Ç£Board?Ç¥) made social media cases a priority in 2011.?á As demonstrated in a recent memorandum released by the Board?ÇÖs Acting General Counsel, this trend is set to continue in 2012.?á Memorandum OM 12-31 summarizes 14 recent social media complaints received by the Board, and details the General Counsel?ÇÖs conclusions on each case.?á While the report reiterates many of the Board?ÇÖs previous pronouncements regarding social media, it also raises new questions about employer regulation of employee social media use, as well as permissible social media policy language.   A New Standard to Evaluate Employee Social Media Comments? Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (?Ç£NLRA?Ç¥) gives employees the right, among other things, ?Ç£to engage in . . . concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection?Ç¥ (emphasis… Continue Reading

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