The National Labor Relations Board's decision in Pier Sixty, LLC, 362 NLRB 59 (2015), will be startling to many managers struggling to maintain civility in the workplace. Increasingly, supervisors and human resource departments are expected to behave like lawyers and to ignore common sense for what should be routine discipline decisions.
In Noel Canning v. NLRB, the Supreme Court issued a labor law decision most surprising because of its unanimity. The Supreme Court held on June 26, 2014, that President Obama's controversial January 2012 appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (Sharon Block, Terence F. Flynn, and Richard Griffin) were invalid exercises of his office under the Constitution. The NLRB in that case had ruled against an employer in an unfair labor practice charge. The employer appealed, asserting that because three of the nation's five Board members had been placed on the Board by the President as "recess appointments" during a time when the Senate was not actually in recess, the Board lacked authority to issue any ruling at all.
In what is more than likely to be one of the most momentous legal controversies of 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to render a decision that reaches the very foundations of the Republic - and could potentially invalidate hundreds of official actions of the National Labor Relations Board and an even greater number of rules and quasi-judicial determinations by a host of other presidential appointees.
Has it been more than a year or two since you reviewed and revised your company's employee handbook? If so, now may be a good time to do so. The following are a few policies on which you may want to concentrate in light of recent employment law developments: