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Dealership Handbooks Remain In The NLRB's Crosshairs


As we advised almost a year ago, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently been subjecting dealership handbooks to increased legal scrutiny. Whether or not your dealership is unionized, your employment policies are likely to be targeted by the federal government now more than ever. 

In August 2014, we told our readers about the legal troubles of Boch Imports, a Massachusetts nonunion dealer with several seemingly harmless handbook policies. An NLRB Administrative Law Judge held that Boch’s policies illegally discouraged employees from engaging in union activity in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 

Over the past year, Boch appealed the ALJ’s decision, but the NLRB held its ground. Very recently the Board affirmed its decision and again held that Boch’s policies unlawfully discouraged employees from exercising their union rights. The dealership will now have to update and revise its policies to comply with the decision. Your dealership can stay on the right side of the law by learning from this decision and revising your handbook as necessary.

As a reminder, here are the policies that the NLRB took issue with:

Employee handbooks are invaluable tools for introducing employees to the policies and expectations of a company, and they often play a key role in defeating employment claims brought against dealerships. But as the Boch case illustrates, handbooks need to be updated frequently in response to changing developments in the law. If you have not updated your handbook recently, now is a good time to do so.


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