Overview: Just because an employer has a non-unionized workforce does not mean that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not apply. In fact, the NLRA offers protections to most employees, except agricultural laborers, domestic workers, family members, independent contractors and managers/supervisors. Similarly, the NLRA defines employer broadly and applies to all employers except for government organizations and railroads or airlines covered by the Railway Labor Act.
Therefore, it is important for employers to understand that, even absent a union, employees are guaranteed the right to engage in concerted activity to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions and an employer may not terminate them for this activity. In the wake of Facebook and forms of social media communication among employees, this has suddenly become a more prevalent protection for both union and non-union employees.
Trends: Recently the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has heard several cases - cases which did not involve a unionized workforce - and ultimately found that employers' social media policies, at-will disclaimers, and confidentiality of investigation policies violated the NLRA because they infringed upon an employee's right to engage in a protected concerted activity. Essentially, the NLRB is scrutinizing the language of employer policies that may hinder an employee's speech. Almost daily, the NLRB continues to actively pursue these claims against employers - union and non-union alike.
Author: Melissa Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Employers seeking to ensure that employees know that they should not improperly use or disclose certain confidential information and the potential ramifications of doing so should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Employers seeking to inform employees about the circumstances under which solicitation and/or distribution of written materials is prohibited should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Use this workflow to determine whether a non-union employee's activity, including speech or organizational activities, is protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
New guidance is available to help an employer prepare for the collective bargaining process with a union.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced yesterday that it is inviting briefs on whether it should adopt a rule providing that "employees who are permitted to use their employer's email for work purposes have the right to use it for Section 7 activity, subject only to the need to maintain production and discipline."
Revitalized and poised with a full Senate-confirmed quorum for the first time in a decade, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is making headlines for its aggressive and often controversial steps to remind union and non-union employers that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of individuals to do much more than unionize.
New guidance is available to help an employer determine whether activity engaged in by a union or non-union employee is protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of employees to engage in "concerted activity for mutual aid or protection" to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions. Protected concerted activity includes, even in the absence of a union, activity by employees on behalf of co-workers or interacting with others to achieve a common goal.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) determination that an employer's confidentiality policy prohibiting employees from disclosing all company financial and personnel information was overly broad and in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
HR guidance on complying with the NLRA.