National General Strike Called for on February 17

February 10, 2017

Multiple sources report that various activists and labor groups are calling for a national general strike against the policies of President Trump on February 17.  While a labor strike typically involves one particular organization, a general strike involves a broader community and may include union and non-union employees.

According to The Blaze, event organizers have set up an "official" website for the national strike, and are calling for a "24-hour occupation of public space in protest of the Trump Administration's refusal to honor the Constitution of the United States."  The strike also has a social media presence with a Facebook event that has 23,000 interested and 14,000 committed to attending.

The strike is thus far tentatively scheduled for February 17 - the Friday before President's Day.  Additional links on the event can be found here and here.

Recommendation: If any of your employees should fail to report to - or leave - a scheduled shift to participate in this event, be sure to consult with experienced labor counsel (National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) experience, as opposed to employment law experience) before you apply your attendance policy or otherwise discipline the participant.  The current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and General Counsel may well view participation as protected under the NLRA.  However, it is highly doubtful that the incoming Trump Administration NLRB or most reviewing courts would do so, given the purely political nature of this protest; unconnected in any practical way to terms and conditions of employment.  So an employer dealing with participating employees must engage in a cost/benefit analysis with experienced counsel regardless of whether the employer is inclined to discipline or not; either approach carries risks and rewards.  Please call Steve Wheeless if you have any questions.