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Thursday Links

Here are a few links to some interesting employment law
articles. I’ve also posted another link to some additional information from the
Department of Labor’s recent guidance regarding how the Family and Medical
Leave Act applies to adult children.

The Employer Handbook has a good article that should remind
employees that First Amendment rights often do not apply in the workplace
. In
the case in question, a teacher of primarily African-American students posted
on her Facebook page that she was a “warden for future criminals.” She was
later fired for her comments, and claimed First Amendment protections. The
Court reminded the former teacher that her postings were not protected because
they were personal expressions of dissatisfaction rather than a matter of
public concern. Additionally, the Court added that even if the post had been
about a matter of public concern, the school district’s interest in operating
its schools effectively would have superseded her First Amendment rights.

The National Labor Relations Board has continued its recent
trend of overturning longstanding decisions
. In American Baptist Homes of the West, the Board overturned its 1978
decision in Anheuser-Busch, which had
exempted employee witness statements from the type of information an employer
was required to provide to a union during collective bargaining. In the case,
the NLRB held that employee witness statements obtained when an employer
investigates employee misconduct are no longer categorically exempted from the
information that must be provided to a union. Instead, the statements are now
subject to a balancing test that considers the employer’s need for
confidentiality versus the union’s need for information relevant to collective
bargaining.

Finally, I wanted to share a link to a helpful Question
and Answer page the Department of Labor has published
. The page answers many
common questions regarding how the FMLA applies to caring for an adult child,
and should help to clarify our post from Tuesday that analyzed the DOL’s recent
guidance
.