Published: December 15, 2017

On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board continued its roll-back of Obama-era initiatives when it issued two landmark decisions just days before Chairman Miscimarra’s term expires on December 16. The first decision, Boeing, established a new standard for evaluating whether facially neutral workplace policies violate the National Labor Relations Act. The second decision, Hy-Brand, overruled the Browning-Ferris standard governing joint-employer liability. Both decisions come as welcome news to employers.

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Published: April 25, 2017

Last week, the Second Circuit held that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it fired an employee who had posted a profane and vulgar message on Facebook that insulted a manager and urged colleagues to vote in favor of unionization. The issue was to what extent does the NLRA protect an employee’s comments on social media and at what point is an employee’s conduct so “opprobrious” that he or she loses the protection of the NLRA.

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Published: September 7, 2016

Today, in Mohamed v. Uber Technologies, Inc., the Ninth Circuit ruled that Uber drivers must arbitrate their labor claims individually, and cannot pursue them as a class.  See Mohamed v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-16178, 2016 WL 4651409 (Sept. 7, 2016 9th Cir.).  Independent contractor drivers allege that Uber violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state statutes by running unauthorized background checks on them.

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Published: August 24, 2016

Reversing more than a decade of precedent, the activist National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on August 23, 2016 in The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York and Graduate Workers of Columbia–GWC, UAW that graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants who perform services in connection with their studies at private universities may be statutory employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

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Published: May 22, 2015

As previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has taken a very aggressive approach against employers by requiring them to rescind employee handbook provisions that it deems to be unlawful pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In the most recent example of such an approach, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found in favor of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union against Macy’s Inc. and held that several Macy’s employee handbook provisions unlawfully restricted its employees’ right to communicate and complain about workplace conditions.

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Published: March 24, 2015

It has traditionally been understood and recognized that employees do not have an expectation of privacy when using their employer’s computer system and that employers can monitor and control their employees’ emails. However, in light of a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 126 (2014), employers may need to rethink this commonly held belief.

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Published: March 6, 2012

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Jason Tremblay’s recently published 2012 edition of the handbook, Employment Law Toolkit for Illinois Employers, is now available. The handbook is a comprehensive resource highlighting the significant employment and labor issues facing Illinois employers. It provides practical and cost-effective advice on avoiding employment and labor-related liability and complying with state and federal laws facing employers.

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