Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Labor Law, NLRB, and Recent Court Decisions

Thursday, June 13, 2019

SSA "No-Match" Letters In March 2019, the Social Security Administration ("SSA") resumed the practice of sending "No-Match Letters" to those employers who the SSA identified as having at least one name and social security number ("SSN") combination submitted on a wage and tax statement (Form W-2) that did not match its SSA records. In response to that, an employer must respond with any corrections on Form W-2c (a Corrected Wage and Tax Statement) within 60 days of receipt of the no-match letter. Some employers may remember receiving these No-Match Letters in the past, until 2012, when the Obama Administration suspended this practice. Story
Cannabis in California In a simpler time, courts that were reviewing medical cannabis laws issued employer-friendly decisions, generally finding no duty to accommodate medical cannabis even when state laws allowed its use for medical purposes. Now, however, the tide is rapidly turning. Where does California employment law currently stand on cannabis? Story
NLRA Rights Poster Has Been Updated The U.S. Department of Labor has announced minor "technical" updates to the National Labor Relations Act poster entitled "Notification of Employee Rights under Federal Labor Law." Federal contractors and subcontractors are required to display this poster pursuant to Executive Order 13496.
The DOL has made the following changes to the poster:

  • Updated the phone number for the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces the NLRA. The new number is 1-844-762-NLRB (6572).
  • Updated the contact information that can be used by individuals who have hearing impairments by including a link to the Federal Relay Service.
Contractors should ensure that they are displaying the most up-to-date version of the poster, which may be obtained free of charge here.
Profanity and Aggressive Physical Conduct May Be Protected Activity
The National Labor Relations Board found that a union steward's use of profanity and "aggressive physical conduct" in a location visible to employees and customers may be protected by the National Labor Relations Act. In Greyhound Lines, Inc., a chief union steward was terminated for his conduct during a confrontation with a company manager over the manager's alleged mistreatment of a fellow employee. The Board found that the steward was engaged in protected union activity during the confrontation. Under Board law set forth in the 1979 case of Atlantic Steel Co., however, an employee's misconduct may cause the loss of protection under the Act, depending on four factors: (1) the location of the discussion; (2) the subject matter of the discussion; (3) the nature of the employee's outburst; and (4) whether the outburst was, in any way, provoked by the employer's unfair labor practices. Story