NLRB Rules It Illegal For Employer To Say It Will Comply With The Law

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board concluded that an employer violated the law when it adopted a policy requiring employees to "Keep customer and employee information secure.  Information must be used fairly, lawfully and only for the purpose for which it was obtained."  See Really? Requiring Someone To Use Information “Fairly And Lawfully” Can Be Illegal?  I wrote about this ruling because it seems at obvious cross purposes with both privacy and securities laws.

The NLRB has now issued an even more remarkable ruling, Labriola Baking Company and Juventino Silva, Petitioner and Teamsters Local 734. Case 13–RD– 089891 (Sept. 8, 2014).  This case involved an employer who, reading from a script, said "“If you chose Union Representation, we believe the Union will push you toward a strike. Should this occurs [sic], we will exercise our legal right to hire replacement workers for the drivers who strike."  The employer's payroll administrator's translation of this statement ended with the statement that the employer would replace the workers with “legal workers” or a “legal workforce”.  The NLRB found that the reference to a legal workforce was "objectionable and highly coercive".

It is a strange world indeed when, as the dissent observed, "an employer violates the law by stating it will comply with the law".  The majority's conclusion becomes even more inexplicable in light of the fact that "the record contains not a shred of evidence suggesting that any employees lacked work authorization, that they feared being reported to immigration authorities, or that some other type of immigration-related issues or problems existed in the workplace."