• Employees campaigning for paid sick leave – Protected speech? The NLRB says yes
Many employers and employees do not know that the National Labor Relations Board acting under power of the National Labor Relations Act governs employee communications, including those on social media, of union and non-union businesses. The Board recently ruled in Miklin Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Jimmy John’s (361 NLRB No. 27 , 8/21/14, 18-CA-019707) that the company violated the Act in terminating and disciplining employees who participated in a campaign for paid sick days. Employees were not paid sick leave and had to find their own replacements if calling in sick. The workers created posters (pictured above) which were included on social media sites implying that sick workers were making food products which could be contaminated. The company found this behavior disloyal.
In making the decision, the Board used the test set out in NLRB v. Electrical Workers Local 1229 (Jefferson Standard), 346 U.S. 464 (1953) as to whether a communication is so disloyal, reckless or maliciously untrue as to lose the status of protected speech. That case ruled that protected status is not lost where speech is merely prejudicial to the company. Speech in furtherance of better working conditions, union organizing and other kinds of speech including that on social media may be protected speech. And actions by employers against those employees may be against the law.
Attend our program The NLRB and Social Media to learn what you and your clients need to know about employee use of social media.
*1 Hour MCLE Credit*
October 15, 2014 Noon to 1:00 pm Check in 11:30 to noon (Brown bag lunch—Bring your own)
Speaker: Valerie Hardy Mahoney Regional Attorney for the Oakland Regional Office NLRB
Advance Registration: $20.00 Day of Event: $30.00
Register online at Eventbrite http://tinyurl.com/l9p3pv8 or call 510-272-6483. Watch this space for more information. If you would like to be notified of upcoming programs, you can sign up on our mailing list.