In NAM v. NLRB, No. 12-5068 (D.C Cir. May 17, 2013), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck against the NRLB notice rule.
The background is as follows. On August 30, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a final rule regarding notice posting. 76 Fed. Reg. 54,006. That final rule provides:
All employees subject to the NLRA must post notices to employees, in conspicuous places, informing them of their NLRA rights, together with Board contact information and information concerning basic enforcement procedures…”
39 C.F.R. 104.202(a). The final rule also declares that failure to post this notice is an unfair labor practice (ULP). In other words, if an employer fails to put up a NLRB notice, the employer violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This is essentially the focus for the Court of Appeals.
The court explained that under Section 8(e), the Board cannot find non-coercive employer speech to be an ULP or evidence of an ULP. The Court of Appeals found that the NLRB’s final rule did both. The court states,
Under the rule an employer’s failure to post the required notice constitutes an unfair labor practice. See 29 C.F.R. 104.210, 104.201. And the Board may consider an employer’s ‘knowing and willful’ noncompliance to be ‘evidence of antiunion animus in cases in which unlawful motive [i]s an element of an unfair labor practice.’ 76 Fed. Reg. at 54,035-36; see also 29 C.F.R. 104.214(b).
(as in original).
This is an interesting decision, allowing the first and fourth amendment claims of Port Militarization Resistance, an anti-war group, to go ahead.
The lawsuit arose when allegedly two civilian U.S. Army employees (Towery and Rudd) spied on the anti-war members and secretly disrupted protests. The anti-war group was protesting the use of sea ports in Washington State for shipments of military supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The lawsuit alleges defendants befriended the anti-war group and “influenced and directed” tactics to disrupt protests without cause, and that defendants broke into a confidential attorney-client list serve.
The district court dismissed most of the claims, but allowed First and Fourth Amendment allegations against Towery and Rudd to go ahead, despite their motion for qualified immunity. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
The Ninth Court stated,
“It is clearly established that intentionally enabling arrests without probable cause in order to suppress speech violates the First Amendment,” the unsigned and unpublished opinion from Seattle states.
“Plaintiffs have pled a plausible violation of their clearly established First Amendment rights,” the ruling states. “Plaintiffs have alleged that defendants ‘deterred or chilled the plaintiff’s political speech’ and that such deterrence motivated defendants’ conduct.”
via Courthouse News Service.
Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa Labor Day Speech
“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Jimmy Hoffa said to a heavily union crowd.
“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong. . .”
via Adjunct Law Prof Blog: Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa Labor Day Speech.