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Balancing Interests: NLRB Leanings Following Verizon Case

Partner Robert Carrol was recently interviewed by Human Resource Executive following the National Labor Relations Board’s recent ruling that Verizon Wireless Inc. maintained numerous handbook rules that were too restrictive on employee communications and behavior.

The acting NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra dissented against the ruling, saying the ‘reasonably construe’ standard, a key basis of the ruling, “defies common sense,” among other concerns. In the interview, Mr. Carrol noted that many employment law practitioners agree with the dissent and typically find fault with the standard as it can be interpreted too broadly.
The dissenting opinion may indicate future actions of the Board. Republican Miscimarra is currently in the minority, but the Trump Administration is expected to fill two existing vacancies, driving a more employer-focused approach according to Mr. Carrol.
"The chairman has laid out a very workable test, this balancing test, that strikes the right approach," he said. "There's probably a sporting chance, a better than 50-percent chance, that ultimately his dissent will cause that intellectual conversation to gather momentum, but it's not going to happen next week or next month."
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