From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
July 22 — A California casino interfered with workers' labor law rights by maintaining a handbook that prohibited employees from conducting “personal business” while they were at work on the employer's premises, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge held ( Casino Pauma, 2016 BL 229670, NLRB ALJ, No. 21-CA-161832, 7/18/16 ).
The decision confirms that unions continue to target missteps in employment codes and handbooks and that NLRB judges are finding unfair labor practices when employer rules compromise employee rights.
ALJ Robert A. Giannasi wrote July 18 that the National Labor Relations Act give employees the right to discuss unions and engage in other protected activity during their nonwork time. Casino Pauma's rule was overbroad and unlawfully restricted employee rights, the ALJ said.
Giannasi also found the casino committed an unfair labor practice under Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA by maintaining a rule that employees had to immediately cease any solicitation or distribution that caused an intended recipient to “experience any discomfort or nonreceptiveness whatsoever.”
Casino Pauma operates a gambling casino and restaurants on tribal land in California. Giannasi said the employer stipulated that the NLRB has already asserted jurisdiction over its operations.
UNITE HERE has filed several unfair labor practice charges against the casino, including the charge Giannasi heard.
The board found twice in 2015 that the employer violated the NLRA by interfering with union activity and maintaining unlawful rules on distributing literature and wearing union insignia (362 N.L.R.B. No. 52, 202 LRRM 2108 (2015); 363 N.L.R.B. No. 60, 205 LRRM 1591 (2015)).
Giannasi said that since mid-2015, the casino has maintained an employee handbook with a rule providing in part that: “Team members are to conduct only Casino Pauma business while at work. Team members may not conduct personal business or business for another employee during their scheduled working hours.”
The ALJ wrote that employees are generally free under the NLRA to engage in union solicitation on the employer's premises during nonworking time and that they may distribute literature in nonworking areas of an employer's facilities.
Denying employees the right to engage in protected activity “while at work” was too broad, Giannasi wrote, “because it is not properly restricted to ‘work time' and thus bans protected activity during nonwork time, such as time on lunch, breaks and before and after work.”
Giannasi also found that Casino Pauma could not lawfully require employees to halt protected solicitation or distribution for a union just because an individual was uncomfortable or not receptive.
The board held in Ryder Truck Rental, Inc., 341 N.L.R.B. 761, 175 LRRM 1179 (2004), that employees have a right to “engage in persistent union solicitation even when it annoys or disturbs the employees who are being solicited,” and Giannasi said Casino Pauma's rule violated Section 8(a)(1) of the act.
The ALJ ordered the casino to rescind the unlawful rules and issue revised handbook language to its employees.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lawrence E. Dubé in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
Text of the ALJ decision is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/NLRB_ALJ_Decision_CASINO_PAUMA_No_CA161832_2016_BL_229670.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)