10.02.2012 9

Customer courtesy verbotin per NLRB

National Labor Relations BoardBy Rick Manning — A BMW dealership that issued an employee manual containing language requiring their employees to engage in courteous behavior has run afoul of the Obama appointee led National Labor Relations Board last week in a decision that stunned even NLRB admirers.

Below is the language that the NLRB found to be so offensive that it was a violation of the law.

“(b) Courtesy: Courtesy is the responsibility of every employee. Everyone is expected to be courteous, polite and friendly to our customers, vendors and suppliers, as well as to their fellow employees. No one should be disrespectful or use profanity or any other language which injures the image or reputation of the Dealership.”

Responding to the finding, Bill Wilson president of Americans for Limited Government said, “The insanity of this rogue group of appointed tyrants never ends. Their atrocities range from trying to tell Boeing where they can locate a factory to demanding that a local BMW dealership remove common sense instructions on behavior from a personnel manual. It is far past time that Congress strip the NLRB of its authority to adjudicate cases.”

Over the past two years momentum has been growing on Capitol Hill in favor of legislation proposed by Representative Austin Scott from Georgia which would take away the NLRB’s power to serve as investigator, prosecutor and jury on employment law decisions and returning the legal authority to the federal courts.

“It is a shame that the only one’s against Representative Scott’s bill so far are big labor leaders and a small cadre of lawyers in D.C. who make millions representing small businesses that are under attack by this out of control board. When the new Congress convenes real, systemic change to the NLRB need to be made immediately, if for no other reason than to prove that the new Congress won’t be held captive by the same interests as the old one,” Wilson concluded.

The Austin Scott bill has 75 co-sponsors, and with this September 28th decision against basic courtesy as a backdrop, it is expected that at least a dozen more representatives will co-sponsor before the end of Congress.

Rick Manning is the Communications Director at Americans for Limited Government.

  • pduffy

    The blog said, “Austin Scott from Georgia which would take away the NLRB’s power to serve as investigator, prosecutor and jury on employment law decisions and returning the legal authority to the federal courts.”
    The question is WHO gave them this power which needs to be taken away? A rogue congress? Telling a business what they can have in an employee manual is not in the enumerated powers of the Constitution, so where do they get this power? Congress cannot just create new powers, this agency is rogue and unconstitutional, the “courts” should have struck its existence down. Every employee of this mob should be arrested and forced to repay every penny of their salaries, and the organization disbanded – permanently.
    Somebody has got to stop the rogue congress from creating these bureaucracies in the first place. The courts should have done it from the beginning, but they have abdicated their duty under the constitution to oppose unconsitutional acts of congress, so why would giving the courts this power back have any effect?

  • 9mmhipchick

    Well what do you expect with Hilda Solis La Raza affiliate running the NLRB or the Dept of Labor…she has HISPANDERED to illegal aliens since she was appointed…Simply vote B.O out and she goes with him.

  • pduffy

    Actually, I disagree that simply voting B.O. out will solve this problem. The entire agency must be disbanded because it’s unconstitutional, as it should not matter who is occupying the White House regarding the abuse of power under the constitution.

  • richcarro

    Most companies have a Code of Ethics in private and government jobs. If you didn’t have this, you would have to listen to the wacko’s that work for companies and there would be nothing you can do or say to shut them up. Your only recourse is to knock the hell out of the moron. So for the NLRB to have the power to determine a company’s policies is outrageous. So i say do away with this kangeroo court.

  • webpuddin

    I found this at first very disturbing; then interesting; and finally a bit misleading. The truth, but not the whole truth. It seems that there is no issue with the company’s requirement for courtesy. The problem was that there is already (the merits of which could be debated but was a ‘given’ in this situation) in existence a legal expectation that employees have some kind of right to group together and express discontent over employment conditions . The specific concern of the board is that the wording of this courtesy thing … and I am deducing the exact sentence here here: “[No one should … use…any other language which injures the image or reputation of the Dealership.”… could possibly be interpreted as restricting the above mentioned right. It appears to me (not a lawyer) if they’d add a statement that says something like “Nothing in this part restricts employees from exercising their right of ” it would be OK. The Board’s concern was NOT that the dealership expected the employees to be courteous; it was NOT that it wanted to prohibit the dealership from restricting employees from saying bad things about it. It was saying that the wording was too ambiguous and needed to be clear what was and was not restricted. This actually helps protect the dealership from lawsuits. I agree such stuff is tricky, open to interpretation – indeed one of the panel said it was OK the way it was. This article headline: “Customer Courtesy Verbotten” is misleading. “Ambiguous Customer Courtesy Statement Verbotten” is more accurate. They didn’t say ‘you can’t require courtesy.’ They said, ‘you gotta be clear that your courtesy requirement doesn’t frighten employees away from the right of . Cumbersome? yep. Anti-employer? Nah. That’s a spin for other purposes that illuminating what really went on here.

  • canary

    Where in this statement of courtesy does it infer, direct, declare, insinuate, imply or say that it would restrict them from exercising their right of working conditions and conversations? If they don’t use profanity and malign the employer with untruthful statements, they would still retain their right to unionize if they so felt that need. My Dad was in the shop union of Oldsmobile. He was always ticked off that they struck one year for about 90 days. He lost his entire paycheck and for that strike the workers got three cents an hour more. The union because they did such a great job for the workers, upped the dues. Yeah my Dad convinced me that unions did as great a job for the workers as the employer. The unions are all for themselves at this point as well.

  • webpuddin

    I didn’t say it did. I’m merely pointing out that what the board said is NOT what the title of the article says. Hence, the title is misleading. Did you see where the NLRB said anything about courtesy not being allowed? “Customer courtesy verbotin per NLRB” (that means “Customer courtesy is forbidden per NLRB.”) That’s not what NLRB said.

    The title could accurately have been:
    Customer courtesy statement too vague per NLRB. or
    Customer courtesy statement misleading per NLRB. or
    NLRB reads more into customer courtesy statement than is there. or NLRB gets picky on customer courtesy statement.

    Whether any of that is indeed true or not, I don’t know, but at least it would be reporting what NLRB said.

    But it is poor journalism to say that the ‘customer courtesy’ was forbidden by NLRB. That means NLRB is making it forbidden to require your employees to be courteous to the customers, to one another, and to the company in public. False, based on this report.

    Happy to hear about your Union experience if you want to share it, but if you expected it to be support for or against anything in my comment, you may want to draw the connection more clearly, as I took no position whatsoever in that regard.

    The board dealt with one issue – the wording of the statement. But the title of the article specifically states it is COURTESY that is forbidden. I’m saying the title is simply not true. That, to be blunt is lying, not good journalism.

    At the very best, it’s low level hype. But some people prefer that to the truth.

  • Al Whilde

    Typical lawyer B.S.

  • webpuddin

    Where in my response is the B.S? DID the NLRB say “courtesy is forbidden?” If you can identify where what I said is inaccurate, I’ll be more than happy to retract it. Or is that simply your response to something that is over your head?

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