May an employer discipline an employee for offensive or abusive language or actions in the course of engaging in activity that may be protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?
Author: XpertHR Editorial Team
Yes. The National Labor Relations Board held in General Motors LLC that an employer may discipline an employee for their obscene, sexist, racist or abusive language or actions in the workplace in the course of engaging in an activity that may be protected under the NLRA, such as union organizing, filing or participating in a grievance, striking or picketing. Employers can apply discipline using the same workplace standards as they would otherwise, provided the discipline is not motivated by anti-union animus.