Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Nov 08, 2010

NLRB and unions are modernizing enforcement techniques


Discriminating against employees for asserting their rights to band together on workplace issues recently got more expensive and embarrassing. Heres why:

  • The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently announced that when it orders back pay for wrongfully terminated employees under the National Labor Relations Act, interest will be compounded daily. (The Boards longstanding practice was to calculate simple interest.) The longer a case drags on, the faster the potential liability builds.
  • The announcement also stated that when the NLRB requires an employer to post a notice confessing its actions were illegal and promising never to do it again, the agency may now require electronic circulation in addition to the traditional paper posting on a bulletin board. The chosen electronic communication methods will depend on how the employer normally communicates with its workers, but could include email, company intranets, and the Internet.
  • The Board intends to seek preliminary injunctions to quickly reinstate employees who complain they were terminated during a union organizing campaign. Even if you ultimately win the case, the individual may be employed with you for months or even years while the case is being investigated or appealed. Any subsequent disciplinary actions could easily be perceived as retaliation for bringing the original complaint.
  • The AFL-CIO has created a searchable Job Tracker database of companies it alleges have committed labor and safety violations or outsourced jobs. Individuals can repost the information through Facebook and Twitter, or report new allegations. As an employer, it may be wise to periodically check your own listing, and attempt to correct inaccuracies before they spread.

Your Vigilant staff representative is just a phone call away to help you analyze a potential termination situation before you take final action. Also, see our Legal Guide, Handling Insubordinate Employees (1024).

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.