Posts Tagged ‘interference’

Anti-Violence Memo Was Interference in Union Organizing Campaign, NLRB Holds in Split Vote

Employers have to be careful about the tactics they use in opposing a drive to unionize their workplaces. What they might see as neutral and innocuous could be construed by regulators as interfering with employees’ right to decide for themselves whether to join a union or not.

A nursing home in New Jersey learned this lesson recently when the National Labor Relations Board ruled that it interfered with employee rights during a union organizing drive by posting a copy of its workplace violence policy along with a memorandum urging employees to treat one another with “dignity and respect.”

In the view of NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce and member Nancy Schiffer, these actions by Care One at Madison Avenue LLC, were tantamount to unlawfully targeting union activity and suggesting to employees that they would be disciplined for engaging in union activity.

Not so, said member Harry Johnson, writing in dissent, who declared that employees have no right under the National Labor Relations Act to intimidate or threaten co-workers and that the home did no more than restate a lawful policy against violence.

You can access the board’s decision in Care One at Madison Avenue, LLC d/b/a Care One at Madison Avenue and 1199 SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East. Cases 22–CA–085127 and 22–CA–089333  here.

Employee’s Inevitable Firing Negates FMLA Claim, 10th Circuit Holds

An employee who would have been fired even if he had not requested leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act cannot proceed to trial on his interference or retaliation claim under the statute, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held today.

Affirming a lower court, the appeals court said that Frank Brown, a customer service operations analyst for ScriptPro LLC did not have a triable FMLA interference or retaliation claim, since the employer presented undisputed evidence that he would have been fired even if he hadn’t requested family-related time off two days earlier.

The judges said that Brown had received a negative performance review and that following his negative annual evaluation there were additional complaints about his “belligerence” toward customers.

The court said it was not questioning the wisdom of managements’ response but only whether it had come forward with evidence suggesting it would have terminated Brown irrespective of his leave request.

Since it had, the claim properly was dismissed, the appeals court held.

Here’s a link to the full ruling.