Search form

Fight for $15 Plans Protests, ‘Civil Disobedience’ on November 29

By Philip B. Rosen and Howard M. Bloom
  • November 22, 2016

Fight for $15, the four-year-old movement to secure a minimum wage of $15 an hour, has announced plans for demonstrations, strikes, and protests in 340 cities across the country on November 29. Tens of thousands of employees are expected to participate. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Some state and local laws provide for higher minimum wages than the federally mandated rate.

According to The Hill, strikes are planned by baggage handlers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and by fast food workers across the country. Protests also will take place at Los Angeles International Airport, Newark International Airport, and 20 other airports in major cities. According to the website action.lowpayisnotokay.org, baggage handlers, fast-food cooks, home care workers, child care teachers, and graduate assistants will participate. The movement demands “$15 and union rights, no deportations, an end to the police killings of black people, and politicians keep their hands off Americans’ health care coverage.”

During a November 21 conference call, spokespersons for the movement claimed the planned protests are in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the recent presidential election.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to engage in group activity for the purposes of “mutual aid and protection.” Thus, regardless of whether a union is involved, if two or more employees acting in concert walk off the job to protest work conditions or enforce demands relating to the terms of their employment, the walk-out, or strike, generally is protected concerted activity under the Act. (However, short, intermittent work stoppages might not be.) Under these circumstances, it would be unlawful to discipline or discharge (or otherwise disadvantage) employees for walking off the job. It also means that unless the employees have been permanently replaced, the strikers are entitled to be returned to their jobs when they make an unconditional offer to do so.

What can employers do? There are several actions available for employers who are faced with this kind of activity. For a detailed explanation of those options and for more about the history of Fight for $15, see our November 2015 article, ‘Fight for $15’ Walk-Outs and Protests Continue; Are You Prepared for November 10?

Jackson Lewis is available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

©2016 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

June 13, 2018

Top Five Labor Law Developments for May 2018

June 13, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements do not violate federal law. Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP et al. v. Morris et al., No. 16-300; National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307 (May 21, 2018). The Supreme Court’s... Read More

June 12, 2018

Nevada Supreme Court Rejects an Interpretation of ‘Health Insurance’ that Would Nullify State Wage System

June 12, 2018

In the last of a series of decisions reached by the Nevada Supreme Court interpreting the Minimum Wage Amendment (“MWA”) to the Nevada Constitution, the Court concluded that an employer may pay the lower of the state’s two-tier minimum wage “if the employer offers health insurance at a cost to the employer of the equivalent of at least... Read More

June 7, 2018

Number of Contingent Workers Inches Higher, DOL Survey Finds

June 7, 2018

The Department of Labor (DOL) has confirmed the gig economy is alive and well, but the number of workers has increased only slightly in the past decade. The DOL released its much-anticipated “Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements Survey” report on June 7, 2018. The number of U.S. workers classified as “contingent” (... Read More