First few Article Sentences
What issues employers will face with the federal government in 2013 depends in large part on the results of the presidential election. One area of focus in 2013 will be the National Labor Relations Act. It is likely that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2013 will continue to target non-unionized employers, unless the agency has new leadership. Since 2012, the NLRB’s message to employees is: “We can protect you, even if you are not represented by a union.” Their hook is the National Labor Relations Act’s Section 7 protection of an employee’s right to engage in “concerted protected activity for mutual aid and protection.” It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with such conduct or to retaliate against an employee because he or she has engaged in such conduct. The NLRB has recently used this argument to attack routine employer policies and agreements as violating the NLRA including, among others, at-will, social media and contact with media policies in handbooks, confidentiality and privacy agreements, employer codes of conduct requiring a “good” or “positive attitude,” arbitration agreements providing for a waiver of class or collective actions, and terminations of employees who received or were parties to any of the foregoing or who raised any concerns about the treatment of fellow employees.