Steven Swirsky Quoted in “NLRB Rule Ups Ante for Cos. Seeking to Fend Off Unions”

Law360

Steven M. Swirsky, Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the firm's New York office, was quoted in Law360 in “NLRB Rule Ups Ante for Cos. Seeking to Fend Off Unions,” by Ben James. (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

While management-side lawyers agree that being proactive is now a must for businesses looking to counter union organizing efforts, employers that go about it in the wrong way risk pushing workers toward the union camp, said Epstein Becker & Green PC's Steven Swirsky.

If a company is too blunt about getting its message out “then [it's] planting the bug in people's minds who may not be thinking about it,” Swirsky said. …

The new rule may inspire certain companies to treat workers better to mitigate any perceived need for a union, according to Swirsky. Keeping a finger of the pulse of the rank-and-file workforce and having front-line supervisors trained to spot problems — and to avoid causing them — are smart moves, he said, as is having a system under which workers can bring grievances to the employer's attention.

“Inconsistency, and perception of an inconsistent application of policies, are often the spark to organizing,” Swirsky said. …

But the new rule raises risk levels for even the most diligent and well-intentioned employers, because it heightens incentives for running surreptitious organizing campaigns or making less-than-truthful claims, said Swirsky.

“The problem I see with the short time frame from the amended rules is you're going to see more and more underground campaigns that employers don't know about,” Swirsky said.