Client Alert
September 10, 2010
Labor & Employment Law News Flash
September 30, 2010 Deadline: EEO-1 Reports
NLRB Rules That "Bannering" is Protected Free Speech

I. It's About that Time Again! EEO-1 Deadline Approaching
September 30, 2010 is the deadline to file the Employer Information Report, otherwise known as an EEO-1, with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC).  Do you know if you need to file? Have you gathered all the information you need?

If you do not know what the EEO-1 is, or it has slipped your mind, don't worry; there is still time left to handle this administrative chore. 

Do you need to file?
An EEO-1 has to be completed by every business that employs 100 or more employees.  Also, federal contractors with contracts of $50,000 or more must complete an EEO-1 if they employ 50 or more employees.

What Information Do You Need?
An EEO-1 essentially requires you to provide the ethnicity and gender of your employees by their job position and category, together with various information regarding your company.  

Compliance Tips
You can complete and submit an EEO-1 entirely online - and the government actually prefers it.  The EEOC's website provides some helpful compliance information 

Penalties for failure to file an EEO-1 can include a court order requiring future filing, and for federal contractors, record keeping violations up to and including debarment. 

Please contact Marc Furman or Jonathan Landesman of the Labor & Employment Group at Cohen Seglias if you need assistance complying with the EEOC's reporting requirements or need assistance updating your policies and procedures. 

II. NLRB Rules that "Bannering" is Protected Free Speech
On September 2, 2010, the newly constituted Democrat-controlled National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a union's practice of placing a large stationary banner at a neutral employer's place of business does not violate federal labor law.  You can read the decision here.  The NLRB has different rules regarding bannering, picketing, and handbilling.

Consider the following scenarios: a general contractor is hired by a bank to build a new branch in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  If the job is 100% non-union, can a trade union have their members set up a picket line outside of the bank's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia? The answer is no.  The bank is a "neutral employer" and as such, the picket line would be an unlawful "secondary boycott" under federal labor law.  In other words, the union's members would not be permitted to picket the bank's corporate headquarters.

But what if the union's members engaged in handbilling outside of the bank's corporate headquarters? Handbilling means that the union members are handing out leaflets, and are not patrolling or wearing placards. Under the federal labor law, the handbilling would be protected free speech.

Another scenario: What if, instead of wearing picket signs, the union members placed a 20 foot long banner outside of the bank's corporate headquarters which read, "SHAME ON THE BANK.  DON'T DEPOSIT YOUR MONEY HERE. LABOR DISPUTE."    Under the NLRB's recent ruling, this example of bannering would be considered protected speech. 

If the NLRB's decision leaves you scratching your head, you are not alone.  Many observers believe that this decision is a sign of things to come.  In any event, we expect this new rule of law to give confidence to organized labor, and that bannering against non-union contractors and their customers will increase. 

If you have any questions about a picket line, handbill, banner, or inflatable rat, please contact Marc Furman or Jonathan Landesman of the Labor & Employment Group at Cohen Seglias.  Mr. Furman and Mr. Landesman have dealt with these situations on literally hundreds of projects. 

Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefings

Please watch your e-mail for details on the upcoming Cohen Seglias Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefing series, which will be held in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.   The first program will cover two topics, "Handling Employee Information: Personnel Files," and "Non-Compete Agreements and the Protection of Trade Secrets," and is scheduled for October 28, 2010 in Philadelphia.  Dates for the other locations will be announced shortly.  If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive e-mail notifications of this and other upcoming events, please contact Crystal Garcia.

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