Tag: Protected Concerted Activity

But my employees aren’t unionized! A trap for the unwary

by William J. Evans “But my employees aren’t unionized!” is a frequent exclamation uttered by employers when they learn they’ve been charged with violating their nonunion employees’ Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). It’s a surprisingly little-known fact that the NLRA applies equally to union and nonunion workers. Accordingly, nonunion employers […]

Methinks thou doth protest too much! FYI, only ‘reasonable’ opposition is protected

It seems that every day the news is full of stories about employees (whether they are NFL players or Hollywood starlets) protesting unfair treatment. Usually, when an employee complains about discrimination, harassment, equal pay, or other work-related topics, he or she is protected from discipline or termination because the conduct is considered “protected activity” under […]

Office politics: preventing disruptive discourse

by David L. Johnson Recently, a Pennsylvania YMCA stopped showing cable news shows on the TVs in its gym because they were prompting political squabbles among its members. When filtered into the diverse workplace, passionate opposing political viewpoints can harm productivity and morale and even create liability issues for employers. Sometimes political discussions can morph […]

As political tensions rise, employers need to take care responding to protests

Many employers saw their ranks diminished on February 16 as a host of employees stayed away from work in support of the nationwide “A Day Without Immigrants” campaign. Employers are likely to see that situation repeated as more protests are scheduled for the coming months. A walkout to support “A Day Without a Woman” is […]


Use of hidden surveillance cameras in workplace comes with pros, cons

Surveillance cameras have become so common that people barely notice them even when they’re in plain sight. Cameras frequently hum at traffic signals, parking lots, stores, even offices and factory floors. They’re not always obvious, though. Employers may want to use hidden cameras to secretly monitor workers–especially if workers are suspected of misconduct and the […]

Election dynamics in the workplace: Free speech? ‘You’re fired’

by Courtney Bru None of us were immune from this year’s presidential election dynamics. Disrespect and name-calling have seemed more prevalent than policy discussions. The election was highly polarizing, potentially pitting employee against employee.  In the midst of it all, employees were often misinformed about their “free speech rights” in the workplace. A recent instance from Georgia […]

To fire or not to fire? Even egregious acts require care before termination

What if you had an employee who apparently showed up to work drunk and then loudly swore at a coworker within earshot of customers? Would you: (A) fire the employee on the spot, (B) investigate and then terminate if evidence shows the accusations are likely true, or (C) let it go to prevent the employee […]

#Fired: Post a tweet, lose your job

Many people enjoy spouting off what they view as 140-character tidbits of wisdom on the social media platform Twitter. But recently several individuals have found themselves in trouble with their employers (read: former employers) for their tweets or other social media posts.  One recent example was a loan officer from Michigan who crafted a racist […]

Political speech in the workplace

by Thomas J. Lloyd III This election season has already proven to be, in certain respects, more animated than any that has ever come before. An ever-changing political landscape, fueled in large part by social media activism, has brought once-foreign political issues directly into the homes and workplaces of nearly every American. As the primaries […]

Time for new grads, employers alike to fight off first-job blues

College seniors can be excused for looking anxiously at their calendars this time of year. The days are ticking away toward spring graduation, meaning the real world of adult responsibility awaits. But as excited as young adults are about their first foray into the professional world, the unknowns spark a barrage of scary questions: What […]