Charges Over Facebook Discipline Set to Continue, RDs Say: Ben James of Law360 ($$) writes that yesterday, a panel of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Directors and private-sector management-side attorneys discussed current hot topics in labor relations at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Manhattan. In particular, the panel discussed the recent spike in Board charges dealing with issues over Facebook and other forms of social media. The Board’s Regional Directors stressed that its recent interest in social-media cases was nothing new, even if a lot of the cases are cropping up in non-union environs.
“We’ve had jurisdiction since way back when over nonunion workforces,” [a Board Regional Director] said, pointing to the U.S. Supreme Court‘s 1962 decision in NLRB v. Washington Aluminum Co., which affirmed the labor board’s ruling that firing nonunion workers who walked out of a machine shop because it was too cold violated the NLRA.
The panel further discussed the D.C. Circuit’s recent Noel Canning ruling, which has thrown the Board’s authority to act into doubt. Since the D.C. Circuit held that the Board had been improperly constituted back in January, 368 contested decisions have been issued. Clearly, we will keep you posted as to both the social media issue and the Noel Canning fallout.
HELP Committee Set to Consider Board Nominees: Sam Hananel of Yahoo!News reports that President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board will appear before a Senate committee confirmation hearing today. If no new nominees are confirmed, the Board will fall below a quorum to act in August, when current Chairman Mark Pearce’s appointment expires.
Following today’s hearing, the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) is expected to vote on the nominees next week. The fight is expected to be quite partisan, as Republicans have been railing against what they believe to be an out-of-control Board. We will certainly keep you posted as the situation unfolds.
Nurses at San Jose Hospitals Set to Strike: Sandy Kleffman of the Mercury News reports that several hundred nurses at two San Jose, California hospitals are set to strike at the end of this month. The strike comes in the midst of lengthy contract negotiations between the nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, and the Hospital Corporation of America. The main sticking points between the parties involve wages, benefits, staffing levels, and pensions. We will keep you posted as the strike deadlines moves closer.