Q. May employees use abusive language when raising grievances about working conditions?

A. In many circumstances, the answer is (again) yes. On May 1, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) overruled its July 2020 decision that changed the standard for cases involving “abusive employee conduct” during labor disputes and negotiations, reverting back to a test that it used in some form or another for approximately 70 years. In its decision, the NLRB found that an employee did not lose National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Section 7 protections when he used strong language and acted less than civil when raising grievances about working conditions.Continue Reading NLRB Returns to Former Precedent on Protected Union Activity

Q: Can a private employer terminate an employee for social media posts that violate internal policies?

A: The Third Circuit, in a nonprecedential opinion, recently determined that a major airline acted permissibly in firing an employee for sharing offensive social media posts, affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment grant on all counts.Continue Reading Employer Justified in Terminating Employee Over Inappropriate Social Media Posts

* Sean M. Craig is a 2021 summer associate at Troutman Pepper. He is not admitted to practice law.

Q: Does Philadelphia have any laws regulating drug testing for marijuana? 

A: Philadelphia recently passed an ordinance that prohibits employers from requiring “a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of marijuana in such prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment.” The ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2022, and applies to any person doing business in the city who employs one or more employees.

The ordinance does not prohibit pre-employment testing of certain types of employees, including police and other law enforcement positions, any position requiring a commercial driver’s license, and any position that requires the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled people, and other vulnerable persons. Also, there are exceptions from the pre-employment testing prohibition, for instance, where drug testing would otherwise be required by applicable law, including a federal or state statute or regulation; where the federal government requires testing as a condition of the receipt of a contract or grant; or where testing is pursuant to a valid collective bargaining agreement.
Continue Reading New Philadelphia Ordinance Prohibits Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing