NLRB Rules Employer Must Allow Fight For $15 Buttons

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
On March 21, 2017, NLRB Acting Chairman Miscimarra and Members Pearce and McFerran unanimously ruled that a fast-food chain violated the National Labor Relations Act by maintaining a rule that prohibited employees from wearing unauthorized pins or stickers, and also by instructing an employee to remove his “Fight For $15” button. (In-N-Out Burger, Inc., 365 NLRB No. 39.)

The employer maintained a written rule that stated “Wearing any type of pin or stickers is not permitted.” An NLRB Administrative Law Judge found that it is well-settled that an employer violates employees’ rights under Section 7 of the Act when it prohibits them from wearing union insignia at the workplace (unless there are special circumstances present). Section 7 also protects the right of employees to engage in concerted activities for their mutual aid and protection, such as advocating for higher wages.

The NLRB ordered the employer to cease and desist from maintaining and enforcing the rule and ordered the employer to publish and distribute to all employees nationwide a revised appearance policy that either did not contain the unlawful rule or that provided the language of a lawful rule, and to also post at its stores nationwide notices regarding the NLRB’s order.
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