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Hard on the heels of enactment of a new North Carolina law designed to eliminate tenure for public school teachers, the Robeson County Schools have reluctantly developed a point system to rank its teachers. No one, it seems, likes it—not school administrators and not teachers.
The union that represents employees at the Smithfield Foods plant in Tar Heel put on the feed bag in March to publicize efforts to organize employees at another company’s plant nearby. The goal: To build support for forcing a union election at the Mountainaire Farms poultry plant in Lumber Bridge.
While you likely have a grasp on the definition of unlawful harassment and discrimination, have you thought about what constitutes assault, battery and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” in the workplace?
Some employers mistakenly believe that having employees work on a contractual basis will save them from litigation. If they decide not to renew the contracts of workers considered “troublemakers,” they figure they can avoid being sued. That’s a big mistake.
On June 19, declaring that “public employees do not renounce their citizenship when they accept employment,” the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protects a public employee’s truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena.
Good news for employers: Workers can’t go to state court to re-litigate an employment discrimination case based on the same underlying facts that already failed in federal court.
Here’s some good news for employers that want to use arbitration as a way to resolve employment disputes instead of relying on federal or state courts: Imposing a fair arbitration policy on applicants as a condition of employment is fine.
Good news for employers: The Supreme Court today said President Obama overstepped his executive powers when he used “recess appointments” to name three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). As a result, the NLRB will likely have to rehear more than 100 cases from 2012. This could create a procedural logjam at the NLRB, an agency that has been aggressively pursuing expansion of employee rights on the job.
You read that right. Soon you will recall the good ol’ days when employee handbooks could prohibit employees from having a “discourteous or inappropriate attitude or behavior.” The NLRB in April ruled that such language was too broad and could possibly deter employees from discussing their pay or working conditions with colleagues.
For the first time in a decade, the NLRB is operating at full strength with five members and a confirmed General Counsel. The new board has a union-side majority and appears poised to expedite union organizing and support other collective activity across an increasingly broad spectrum of unionized and nonunionized workplaces.