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Regis CEO’s pre-emptive labor move may have been illegal

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Regis Corp., a national hair salon chain based in the Twin Cities, operates numerous outlets under Regis Salons, Cost Cutters, Supercuts, MasterCuts and other brands. CEO Paul Finkelstein was so concerned about the effects of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, he decided to be proactive.

But his actions may have violated the National Labor Relations Act.

The salons asked employees to sign a document voluntarily relinquishing their rights to vote for a union by authorization card. Finkelstein insists signing the document was voluntary and that his only motivation is to preserve employees’ rights to vote to unionize by secret ballot.

But National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigators don’t see it that way. In fact, they see the move as a way to identify and intimidate employees who may be pro-union.

The NLRB investigation revealed several employees who claim they were terminated or disciplined because they refused to sign the documents.

Finkelstein has retained legal counsel to defend his actions, and the case may go before the NLRB.

Of course, political squabbling in Washington has left the NLRB with only two of its five positions filled. The Supreme Court has taken a case to decide whether the board can legally operate with only two positions filled.

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