Thursday, July 22, 2021

Another NLRB win for Scabby the Rat

Scabby the Rat
Labor and employment law can be weird sometimes... like, there's an entire line of cases about the right of employees to bring a giant inflatable rodent named Scabby the Rat to protests. Yesterday, the legendary blow-up critter got another win at the National Labor Relations Board in a 3-1 ruling

Here, a union brought ol' Scabby to an RV trade show and placed him right at the entrance alongside two banners. The union's employer supplied components to the RV company that hosted the trade show. In other words, they brought Scabby to a neutral (or "secondary") employer. 

Ultimately, the NLRB held that this did not violate the National Labor Relations Act. Two concurring Members and one dissenting Member all emphasized the importance of enforcing the NLRA's goal of keeping labor disputes from "entangling" or "impairing" neutral or secondary employers. How did Scabby pull off the victory? The two concurring Members and the Chairman sided with Scabby, relying largely on the "constitutional avoidance" doctrine - the idea that the NLRB should not enforce the NLRA in ways that might infringe on the union's First Amendment rights. 

At the end of the day, chalk up another win for Scabby. 

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