E-Blasts

Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) proposed a rule change cutting off unions’ access to workers’ email addresses and cellphone numbers before elections. The proposed rule can be found here. If adopted, the rule would be a big win for employers because it would curb unions’ access to worker contact info during election campaigns. This proposal marks the Trump administration’s latest rollback of Obama-era changes to the representation election process.

The Board said the new rule will “advance important employee privacy interests,” in a press release announcing the proposed change.

On Wednesday, National Labor Relations Board nominee Lauren McFerran – who previously sat on the NLRB for five years – will rejoin the labor board as its only Democrat, after the U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed her and current Republican board member Marvin Kaplan for new terms.

McFerran will occupy one of two open Democratic seats on the five-member labor board. She left the NLRB in December and was renominated by President Trump a short time later. The Senate voted 53-42 to return her to the labor board. 

Cal/OSHA has been visiting farms and agricultural facilities in the Central Valley and throughout California to enforce health orders related to COVID-19. Businesses who aren’t in compliance are receiving citations for failure to follow social distancing measures. The visits have come in the recent weeks and it appears that Cal/OSHA is targeting rural areas. Employers are encouraged to be on the lookout for Cal/OSHA.

On May 29, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) issued an important opinion overruling two decisions in order to define the term “solicitation” in a manner consistent with prior Board decisions and the dictionary definition of the term. This decision, Wynn Las Vegas, LLC and Keli P. May and Kanie Kastroll, is a win for employers and reverses an old expansive pro-union rule. A copy of the Board’s decision can be found here.

In the dictionary “solicitation” is defined as “the act of asking for or trying to obtain something from someone” and under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) it is similar but there have been many tricky interpretations as to what rises to the level of “solicitation” that is not permitted by employees (or subjects them to discipline) during work hours on the employer’s time.

This E-blast serves to provide a playbook for what to do when the Company is faced with union organization efforts and a general strike or work stoppage.

It has come to our attention that a general strike was requested this week in support of the “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement. This walkout was labeled as a “Strike for Black Lives.” The walkout is allegedly supported by over 150 labor organizations and activist groups, including the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Today, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released the long-awaited final version of a new rule on the legal test for determining whether two or more companies are joint employers for the purposes of collective bargaining and liability for violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  The joint-employer rule has a complicated history dating back to 2015 when the NLRB overturned the previous long-standing joint employer standard of 30 years which required “direct and immediate control” of the terms and conditions of workers’ employment.  

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