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NLRB Requires Employer to Play DVD on Union Organizing for Employees

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) is getting creative.  A recent settlement between the Board and a national corporation includes playing a DVD on union organizing rights at 6,500 of its stores. 

Regis Corporation owns 12,000 hair and beauty salons across the country.  According to the settlement, in 2009, Regis encouraged its employees to sign a “Protection of Secret Vote Agreement.”  In it, the employees agreed not to join a union in the future.  Regis displayed a poster in its stores urging employees not to sign union authorization cards and had a hotline where employees were supposed to report any union activity.  In addition, Regis played a DVD called “Union Awareness” where they discouraged employees from signing union authorization cards and said they would have to shut stores down if they became unionized. 

An unfair labor practice was filed with the Board against Regis.  As part of the settlement, Regis agreed to post a notice in its stores explaining the employees’ rights to unionize.  Also, Regis agreed to hold mandatory employee meetings, supervised by high-level management, at which it will play a new DVD.  This DVD will include a Board agent reading the notice out loud.  This follows the Board’s latest efforts to use current technology to make Board remedies more effective.  In fact, this is the largest use of such technology that we have yet uncovered and it is a sign of things to come. 

This settlement is unique and serves as a reminder to employers that what you say to your employees about unions is strictly regulated by the National Labor Relations Act.  Employers should consult with counsel before beginning any union avoidance strategies.  Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on union-related matters and provides union-free training.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.