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UAC MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


BUSINESS


conditions of employment and rise to the level of protected concerted activity. Social media policies that restrict an employee’s ability to complain or discuss work may “chill” the exercise of such protected rights. (Te General Counsel, at least, attaches a legally compliant social media policy in the May 4 Memorandum.)


Although the General Counsel explains the memoranda as a compilation of existing Board decisions, the General Counsel’s memoranda necessarily contains interpretation.


Without Congressional activity or public involvement, the three memoranda amount to a unilateral pronouncement of policy that will influence private sec- tor workplace practices regarding social media.


Te General Counsel has expanded his broad reading of section 7 rights to include at-will acknowledgement policies. Te General Coun-


sel has taken the position that a Handbook acknowledgement declaring employment to be at-will and irrevocable absent a writing, signed by management, violated Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA. In subsequent reported speeches, the General Counsel has taken a major leap and declared that the existence of at-will employment may chill an employee’s willingness to engage in concerted activity and, therefore, be in violation of the NLRA.


Whistleblowing


Te Administration’s effort to grow workplace regulation has been hampered by a lack of funding. Te growth of the federal deficit and debt dampens Congress’ enthusiasm to fund anything. While new workplace legislation may be politically popular for a segment of the US population, passage of workplace law requires full Congressional approval.


With minimal funds, the Administration has turned to whistleblowing to enforce executive orders, interpretations, guides and guidelines,


Whistleblowing laws Te following is a list of many of the whistleblowing federal laws:


• First Amendment • Civil Rights Act of 1871 • Affordable Care Act (ACA)


• Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)


• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


• American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)


• Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986


• Asbestos School Hazard Detection & Control Act


• Atomic Energy and Energy Reorganization Acts


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• Bankruptcy • Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) • Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act • Civil Service Reform Act • Civil Service Reform Act (FBI employees)


• Civilian Employees of the Armed Forces


• Civil War Reconstruction Era Federal Civil Rights Statutes


• Clayton Act (antitrust) • Clean Air Act • Clean Water Act


• Coast Guard whistleblower protection [Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Act] and Seaman’s Protection Act


• Commercial Motor Vehicles Program (see STAA)


• Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“Super Fund”)


• Congressional Accountability Act


• Consumer Credit Protection Act (garnishments)


• Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)


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