Week In Review

November 30, 2015

Facebook criticisms of employer protected by NLRA
A federal appeals court has held that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it discharged employees who were caught venting on Facebook about having to pay extra taxes due to their employer’s alleged tax withholding mistakes. The Court rejected the employer’s assertion that the comments were unprotected because they included obscenities that could be viewed by customers. The Court also held that the employer’s internet/blogging policy barring “inappropriate discussions” violated the NLRA since it could be viewed as prohibiting employees from discussing terms and conditions of their employment.

Reservist terminated during deployment pursuant to one-year contract had no right to reemployment
A federal appeals court has held that an orthopedic surgeon and military reservist who signed a one-year contract with a hospital that could be terminated at any time and that did not provide for renewal or extension, and who was terminated during his deployment to Iraq pursuant to the contract, had no right to reemployment under The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). While the employee presented evidence that the hospital’s CEO stated his deployment “had really messed things up,” the Court refused to find that this amounted to unlawful discrimination under the USERRA. Further, the Court found that the employee’s termination did not breach his employment agreement.

New York expands working mothers’ breastfeeding rights
Federal law requires employers to provide (1) a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and (2) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. Effective January 1, 2016, employers in New York will be required to (1) allow employees who are nursing to take reasonable breaks at work so they can pump breast milk for up to three years following childbirth; and (2) allow employees who are nursing to breastfeed at their place of employment in an environment that does not discourage breastfeeding or the provision of breast milk.

SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com