The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues its aggressive enforcement actions against work rules and policies it deems overbroad and infringing on an employee’s rights to engage in activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Non-union and union employers alike must remember that employees have the right under Section 7 of the NLRA to engage in “protected concerted activity” (i.e., discussions with co-workers) to improve their terms and conditions of employment, including wages, hours and working conditions. As a result, the NLRB will consider any work rule or policy that may reasonably be understood to prohibit or restrict an employee’s right to engage in such activity to be overbroad and unlawful.
In an effort to clarify its position on certain policies, the NLRB’s General Counsel provided guidance to employers in a March 2015 report on whether certain rules would be reasonably construed to prohibit or restrict employees from engaging in protected activity. The report also provides examples of lawful and unlawful language for the following employer rules and policies frequently at issue:
- Social Media Policies
- No Distribution/No Solicitation Policies
- Confidentiality Policies
- Policies Regarding Employee Conduct Towards Management
- Policies Regarding Employee Conduct Toward Co-Workers
- Policies Regulating Employee Conduct Toward Third Parties
- Policies Restricting Use of Company Logos, Copyrights and Trademarks
- Policies Restricting Photography, Recording and Personal Devices
- Policies Restricting Leaving Work
- Conflict of Interest Policies
- Handbook Disclosure Provisions
To learn more about these policies and review the language the NLRB has deemed unlawful and lawful, check out XpertHR’s new in-depth report, “11 Employment Policies You Think are Legal, but the NLRB Doesn’t.”