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  • Writer's pictureBoss Consulting HR

What We're Watching | Week of May 8, 2022

What We're Watching, a weekly summary from the team at Boss Consulting HR, to highlight the ever-moving parts that is Human Resources.


Federal Updates

Hot Water for Starbucks, And It's Not for Coffee

We find most businesses that aren't unionized don't tend to stay on top of union news, but the latest unionization saga regarding Starbucks is worth watching. To catch you up, the first Starbucks store unionized in 2021, since then 17 stores have followed. More stores are expected to vote in the coming months. Since the unionization drive, Starbucks has been hit with over 200 labor violations, keeping the negative news spotlight on the coffee giant.

Why this matters to non-unionized employers:

  • Non-union employees have protection under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), specifically related to protected concerted activity (when two or more employees take action for their mutual aid or protection regarding terms and conditions of employment). This means that non-union employees can assert their rights under the NLRA without fear of retaliation.

  • Starbucks has traditionally been regarded as an attractive employer. Benefits for part-time employees, education reimbursement; but it's clear that their workforce is wanting and EXPECTING more.

The Takeaway: Consider what is your EVP, Employer Value Proposition. What are you providing to your employees? The answer should be something more than just a "good place to work."


Connecticut Updates

Public Act 22-24/SB 163

This bill has already passed the Senate and is heading to Gov. Lamont. SB 163 is being described as a serious infringement on First Amendment rights and an attack on captive audience meetings. This bill would restrict an employer's ability to discuss "political matters" or "religious matters" in the workplace, allowing employees to leave any meeting they feel as "political" or "religious." The bill also protects employees from discipline or discharge for exercising their rights.

Mandatory employer meetings are being scrutinized at the Federal level as well by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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