NAW Joins Amicus Brief Challenging NLRB Decision

Jade West, NAW senior vice president-government relations, sent the following message to update National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) members of legal action NAW is taking on behalf of its members. IAPD is an association member of NAW.

As you know, the National Labor Relations Board has pursued an activist pro-labor agenda for the last four years, and NAW and our allied trade associations and coalitions have challenged a number of NLRB actions in court. Yesterday we filed yet another amicus brief.

Background

Under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, an employer may not “interfere with, restrain, or coerce” employees for participating in “concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection” – whether or not they are unionized. The Board can only take enforcement action against an employer when charges are filed, but it is now aggressively marketing its Section 7 authority by encouraging workers – non-union and union alike – to act on their rights.

Moreover, over the last few years the Board has significantly expanded the scope of Section 7 “protected concerted activity.” In a significant decision last summer, Banner Health, the Board ruled that an employer policy “maintaining and applying a rule prohibiting employees from discussing ongoing investigations of employee misconduct” violated employees’ Section 7 rights. The Board held that the employer’s desire to protect the integrity of internal investigations did not justify a broad confidentiality policy; that the employer should instead “first determine whether in any given investigation witnesses need protection, evidence is in danger of being destroyed, testimony is in danger of being fabricated, or there is a need to prevent a cover up.”

That demand is obviously unrealistic since an employer clearly may not know at the beginning of an investigation whether any of those conditions may arise.

Banner Health has appealed the Board's decision, and NAW has joined an amicus brief supporting the appeal. Our brief was filed yesterday; click here to view the brief.

 

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