… that a Texas law effective June 13 permits employees to carry handguns openly at work? The law does not permit employees to carry a gun inside the employer’s premises. Covering pistols only, the law permits employees to have unconcealed pistols in their vehicles. Texas also passed the “campus carry” bill which permits pistols to be brought onto the campuses of public colleges. The Texas law does not cover private universities.

… that almost 75% of employees have no idea what to do in the event of a physical threat at work? According to a recent Harris Poll, 30% of those surveyed do not believe the workplace is secure from attacks from another person and 30% also believe that the workplace does not have adequate cyber security. Eighty-five percent believe the workplace is well protected in the event of a natural disaster and 83% believe their workplace is well protected in the event of weather threats. Approximately 40% do not believe their employer has a plan in place to deal with workplace violence, threats, or incidents.

… that work and family responsibilities are driving increasing focus on workplace accommodations for fathers? Pursuant to a survey led by MenCare, which is a global campaign to promote men as caregivers, “it’s about  time  we  really  took  fatherhood  seriously. We’re  finding from research around the world that men can’t do this alone. It’s literally about time—who spends time with children.” The report recommends employers provide for paid family leave and extensive paid sick time, regardless of whether the employee is covered FMLA. According to MenCare, “gender justice” includes father-friendly workplace policies. Richard Branson recently made headlines by announcing that full-time Virgin Atlantic employees who had worked for the company for four years would be eligible for one year of fully-paid maternity/paternity leave.

… that a “conflict of interest” rule violated the National Labor Relations Act, according to the NLRB? One would think that a conflict of interest policy is rather basic to the integrity of an employee’s commitment to an employer. Not so, according to the National Labor Relations Board in the decision of Remington Lodging & Hospitality, LLC (June 18, 2015). The employer’s rule focused on competing against the employer or disclosing confidential business information. According to the NLRB, “employees would reasonably fear that the rule prohibits any conduct the Respondent may consider to be detrimental to its image or reputation or to present a conflict with its interests, such as informational picketing, strikes or other economic pressure.” A factor that influenced the NLRB in this decision was the existence of other employer rules and actions which were considered a violation of employee rights. In our view, a well drafted conflict of interest policy, will adequately protect the employer’s needs and not conflict with employee rights under the NLRA.

… that the Big Three auto negotiations will begin on July 13, covering 140,000 hourly employees? It is anticipated the UAW will try to eliminate two-tier pay systems, which provide for a $9 an hour gap between tiers 1 and tier 2 employees. Forty-three percent of Chrysler  employees are paid on the lower scale, compared to 19% at GM and 28% at Ford. With Michigan now a Right-to-Work state, the UAW considers the elimination of the  two-tier structure essential to retaining the dues paying members who are paid according to the lower tier.