08.26.2016 1

NLRB just nuked your private university safe spaces

SafeSpaceBy Nathan Mehrens

Liberal parents who are dropping off a child at a private university beware; the liberal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) just nuked your kid’s safe space.

The NLRB earlier this week overruled previous precedent and decided that many types of students who perform duties such as teaching assistance as part of their degree programs are employees for the purposes of the National Labor Relations Act.

This means that all the crazy decisions from the NLRB regarding things like employer manuals, prohibiting restrictions on workplace conduct, etc. now apply to these students.

This also means that these students can now form unions and the employer (university) will be legally prohibited from negotiating with them individually but must instead bargain with the union.

Since the NLRB has greatly limited the ability of employers to prohibit bad conduct from employees here are a few of the things that the dissent points out will be next to impossible for private universities to prohibit:

  1. Privacy in Investigations. “If your son or daughter is sexually harassed by a student assistant and an investigation by the university ensues, the university will violate federal law (the NLRA) if it routinely asks other student-assistant witnesses to keep confidential what is discussed during the university’s investigation.”
  2. Civility. “The university will be found to have violated the NLRA if it requires student assistants to maintain ‘harmonious interactions and relationships’ with other students.”
  3. Profanity, Abuse, and Just Plain Loudness. “The university cannot adopt a policy against ‘loud, abusive or foul language’ or ‘false, vicious, profane or malicious statements’ by student assistants.”
  4. Bad Conduct. “The university must permit student assistants to have angry confrontations with university officials in grievance discussions, and the student assistant cannot be lawfully disciplined or removed from his or her position even if he or she repeatedly screams, ‘I can say anything I want,’ ‘I can swear if I want,’ and ‘I can do anything I want, and you can’t stop me’.”
  5. Social Media Gone Wild. “If a student assistant objects to actions by a professor-supervisor named ‘Bob,’ the university must permit the student to post a message on Facebook stating: ‘Bob is such a nasty mother ******, don’t know how to talk to people. **** his mother and his entire ******* family’.”
  6. Abusing Faculty. “The university may not take action against a student assistant who screams at a professor-supervisor and calls him a ‘******* crook,’ a ‘******* mother *******’ and an ‘*******’ when the student assistant is complaining about the treatment of student assistants.”

The quotes above are from actual, real life cases where the NLRB has said that employers cannot prohibit the conduct described.

So, if your kid gets attacked they will have no privacy, they can expect no civility, and they can expect to be in the middle of profanity, falsity, and malicious conduct.

Goodbye safe space. Maybe you should get your kids’ earplugs and self-defense skills instead.

Nathan Mehrens is President of Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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