Most employers are aware that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects individuals from harassment and discrimination, and further protects them from filing claims alleging such harassment or discrimination.
There is some confusion in the employer community about the obligation to post a notice concerning union organizing rights.
Following a trend that has developed over the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently found that the termination of a Starbucks employee violated the National Labor Relations Act (the “NLRA” or the “Act”), even though the employee had engaged in extremely offensive, obscenity-filled conduct in the presence of customers.
An NLRB Administrative Law Judge issued a Decision on April 29th in which he found that when a waiter in a restaurant in New York City, acting alone, instituted a class action lawsuit claiming violation of state or federal wage and hour laws, he was engaging in concerted activity on behalf of himself and co-workers, even if none of those co-workers are aware of the filing.
Percolating for the last couple of years has been the question of whether a “savings clause” or a “disclaimer” in an employee handbook or policy manual would be sufficient to protect policies in the handbook from attack under the NLRA.