While we have written in this space before about efforts in legislatures all over the country to stem or limit collective bargaining (particularly in the public sector), union organizers persist for the time being, looking to mobilize your workforce into what would surely be a daily headache you don’t need. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to wait for the legislature in your state to address this problem. Non-union employers can – and should – take steps on their own to situate their workplace so it is less susceptible to union organizing. How? Click on the video below for a short take on just a few such suggestions.
As we have reported on this blog before, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has taken the position that employees who post criticisms of their supervisors on Facebook are engaged in concerted activity that is protected under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Now, tweets made on Twitter are also coming under scrutiny.
The far reaching impacts of social media on the workplace have garnered significant attention from this blog – and rightly so. The constant appearance of employee use of Facebook and Twitter on the newswire demands that attention. And we’re not just talking about employees in low profile, private-sector positions here either, folks.
Issuing a favorable decision for employers, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals – which covers West Virginia – recently clarified its position on the executive exemption contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The case, titled Grace v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., involved a former Family Dollar Stores manager who sued the retail business claiming she wasn’t paid proper overtime compensation for working more than 40 hours a week.
It would be difficult to find a person who isn’t at least somewhat familiar with the battle which has taken place in the Wisconsin legislature over the last month or two surrounding public collective bargaining rights. After all, when critical issues like retirement and health care for employees in nearly every corner of the state are debated, tens of thousands of people jam a state capitol building to protest, and lawmakers actually physically hide out-of-state from their own constituents, it tends to make news.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), it is illegal for an employer to discharge or discriminate against an employee who “filed any complaint” concerning an alleged violation of the FLSA. Last week, in Kasten vs. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., No. 09-834, the United States Supreme Court once again retaliated against employers by ruling that the “filing” of a complaint does not require the making of a written or documented complaint to trigger the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA, but instead includes an “oral” gripe when a reasonable person would have understood the employee to put the employer on notice of a claimed FLSA violation.