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NLRB Clarifies that Internal Union Discipline can Violate NLRA

Published:  February 22, 2017

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB’) recently ruled that internal union discipline that resulted from a member’s Facebook post violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  The member wrote a Facebook post wherein he criticized the union for failing to abide by union policies in giving a politician a journeyman’s book without requiring him to go through the required apprenticeship program.  The union claimed that the Facebook post harmed its reputation, and disciplined the member by removing him from the union’s out-of-work referral list, which deprived the member of employment opportunities.

The NLRB ruled that the member’s right to press the union to change its policies, especially those policies that affect member’s employment opportunities, outweighed the union’s business interest in claiming that its reputation was damaged by the post.

The ruling clarifies that the NLRB seriously considers business interests in making its decisions and further, that the NLRB will sanction unions, and not just employers, for any activity that it deems to have violated the NLRA.

If you have any questions regarding the National Labor Relations Act, or any other employment law issue, please contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C.