Human Resources Consulting - Columbia SC

The “Fight for $15.00” single day strike and protest is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10. What is an employer to do?

 In November of 2012, over 100 workers in the fast food industry walked off the job in New York City demanding a minimum wage of $15.00/hour. In 2013, dozens of similar protests and strikes occurred in various cities. By 2014, the movement had grown to include not only the fast food industry, but also workers from childcare facilities, the home healthcare industry, airports, gas stations, convenience stores, retail stores and universities as well as other companies and industries who traditionally hire low wage workers. On April 15, 2015, thousands of workers across the country walked off their jobs in what has been called the largest such protest in our nation’s history.

An even larger protest and single day strike is planned for Tuesday, November 10, 2015. Various unions are encouraging workers to publicize their actions by standing outside their places of work with protest signs, posting comments to social media sites, as well as to carry banners, hand out leaflets, chant, march and sing.

All employers must recognize that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects all workers who engage in lawful concerted activity for the purposes of mutual aid and protection. This applies to both unionized as well as non-unionized organizations. If any employer were to take adverse actions against any workers for their concerted protected activities, that employer could face an unfair labor practice charge from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB will protect employees who engage in protected walkouts.
Employers should not threaten discipline or termination for any employee who engages in such a protest. Workers who hand out leaflets or handbills are also protected as a form of free speech. Picketers are not allowed to block company entrances or exits. Also, they cannot commit acts of overt intimidation, threats or violence towards customers or employees. Employers must not threaten, discipline, counsel, or terminate employees for what they post on any social media site.

I am sure that Tuesday, November 10, 2015 will be a very trying and stressful day for many employers. Please do not make it worse by violating workers’ rights under the NLRA. You may find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

In order to protect themselves and their organizations, employers should be aware of and in compliance with these and other regulations/decisions issued by various federal/state agencies and courts. If Paul Hilton, Human Resources Consulting, LLC can be of any assistance with these or other HR related issues, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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Paul Hilton, Human Resources Consulting, LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Office: (803) 481-9533
Cell: (803) 305-8962 

Paul Hilton, Human Resources Consulting, LLC