NLRB Narrows Standard for “Protected Activity”

02.18.2019

Another recent NLRB decision narrows the standard for what constitutes protected activity.  In that case, a manager asked a group of airport baggage handlers to help unload the equipment of a soccer team. One of the baggage employees said they’d done a similar job previously and didn’t receive a tip.  When the equipment arrived, the baggage handlers didn’t help unload, and the employee who complained about the lack of tip was fired.  He filed a complaint alleging he was fired for complaining about the lack of tip, which he claimed was protected activity.  The NLRB disagreed, and held that a worker’s statement must concern a genuine workplace issue; personal gripes don’t count.  

This decision supports the continued dialing back of Obama-era NLRB decisions, and the continued employer-friendly Trump administration NLRB trend. 

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