April 8, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Milwaukee, WI – The National Labor Relations Board’s regional office said March 28 that anti-union rules in the Menards stores’ employee handbook violated federal labor law.
The board determined that the home-improvement chain “has maintained unlawful and overly broad written agreements with managers and supervisors,” as well as “unlawful and overly broad provisions in its employee handbook,” Jessica Gibson, a Milwaukee-based NLRB field examiner, said in a notice emailed to Seth Goldstein of the Office and Employees International Union, Local 153. The board ordered Menards to delete a section of the handbook that prohibits merit-pay increases to employees who engage in “protected concerted and/or union activities,” and ruled that workers could not be forced to agree that any dispute with management must be sent to arbitration. “It’s a major victory, because the board is going to issue perhaps a national finding against Menards,” Goldstein said. Menards, which runs more than 280 stores in 14 states, has over 45,000 employees. Owner John Menard is a major contributor to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Read more