Update to Right to Unionize Posting Requirement

The effective date of National Labor Relations Board‘s (NLRB) new requirement that employers post a notice of employees’ right to unionize has been extended to January 31, 2012, instead of the original November 14, 2011 date.  The NLRB states that the postponement was to “allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.” The new requirement has met with much resistance from the business community which fears that the posting requirement will promote unionization among employees.

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Genetic Information Now Protected from Discrimination

Last week, California’s Governor Jerry Brown passed SB 559, which amends the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include “genetic Information” as an impermissible basis of discrimination. “Genetic information” is defined by the law as any of the following information regarding an individual: (i)  The individual’s genetic tests. (ii)  The genetic tests of family members of the individual. (iii)  The manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members of the individual. (iv) any request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or participation in clinical research that includes genetic services, by an individual or any family member of the individual. However, an individual’s age or sex is not considered “genetic information.”  But we already know that you can’t discriminate on the basis of age or sex. Some of us may ask, who goes around asking employees for their “genetic information” any way?  SB 559’s declarations noted that this form of discrimination was evident in the 1970s, which saw the advent of programs to screen and identify carriers of sickle cell anemia, a disease that afflicts African Americans.  This … Continue reading

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New Notice Requirement for Employers: Employees’ Right to Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a Final Rule requiring most private-sector employers to post a notice to employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Here is a quick Q&A for employers. Who has to post this new notice? All private-sector employers (including labor unions) subject to the National Labor Relations Act. The new notice requirement does not apply to agricultural, railroad and airline employers or the U.S. Postal Service for the time being. What does the notice say? Under the NLRA, you have the right to: Organize a union to negotiate with your employer concerning your wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. Form, join or assist a union. Bargain collectively through representatives of employees’ own choosing for a contract with your employer setting your wages, benefits, hours, and other working conditions. Discuss your wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with your co-workers or a union. Take action with one or more co-workers to improve your working conditions by, among other means, raising work-related complaints … Continue reading

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