Boss Can Limit Employee’s Pieces of Flair: 2nd Cir. Rules

No, you haven’t stepped into the world of Office Space. But we are going to talk employee flair . A few years back, employees at a Manhattan Starbucks filed a complaint against the company with the National Labor Relations Board over its flair policy. Employees, who were trying to unionize, were only permitted to wear one pro-union button less than 1-inch in diameter while on the clock. The NLRB deemed this an unfair labor practice, but now the Second Circuit has reversed . Starbucks instituted the limited flair policy after employees covered themselves in pro-union badges, according to the court. At least one woman wore 8 pro-union pins at a time. Starbucks felt its employees were becoming “personal message boards” for the union, reports Reuters. The Second Circuit has agreed with Starbucks’ stance. Just as it can require employees to “wear buttons promoting its products … it is also entitled to avoid the distraction from its messages that a number of union buttons would risk.” In other words, too much pro-union flair distracts customers from an employee’s pro-Starbucks flair. Starbucks is entitled to take measures to prevent this. Now, what can you, as a small business owner, do in light of this decision? The same thing you’ve hopefully been doing — enforcing a union-neutral dress code policy. This could mean banning all personal employee flair — if it didn’t come from you, it can’t be worn. You could also limit the permissible number of personal flair units an employee can wear at any given time. It’s one happy face pin or it’s one union button — their choice. By not singling out certain kinds of messages, you can hopefully avoid being accused of illegal anti-union behavior. But if you think you’re going to be accused of it anyway, talk to a local labor attorney about employee flair. Related Resources: Court Sides With Starbucks In Dispute Over Labor Union Pins (Consumerist) Unions Basics (FindLaw) Can My Employees Form a Union? (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise)

See the original post:
Boss Can Limit Employee’s Pieces of Flair: 2nd Cir. Rules

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.