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Latest News - May 2013

May 3, 2013
Target handbook unlawfully discouraged union activity, NLRB says
By: Julie Beck

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is continuing to crack down on employee handbooks. Its latest target was, well, Target.

Confirming the ruling of an administrative law judge, the board recently found that a Target store on Long Island, N.Y. violated the National Labor Relations Act with its handbook, which discouraged protected union activity. Specifically, the board frowned upon a no-solicitation policy that banned distribution of literature and other soliciting for commercial purposes, personal profit or non-sanctioned charities. The NLRB said that workers could “reasonably construe” the policy to prohibit union solicitation as well.

The NLRB ordered the store to hold a new union election, finding that handbook policies may have impacted a 2011 attempt by the United Food & Commercial Workers to unionize the store, an attempt which ultimately failed.

"The Respondent's maintenance of unlawful rules is sufficient by itself to set aside the election," the NLRB wrote in its decision.

In addition, any store that used the handbook written by Target’s corporate headquarters has to post a notice of the revised policies and give employees inserts explaining the new policies.



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