By Brigette Eagan
Recent guidance by the National Labor Relations Board means that your company handbooks may come under scrutiny and be declared unlawful.
On March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued a report (the “Report”) identifying numerous employer rules in Company handbooks and social media policies that violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). The Report applies to non-unionized workforces. The National Labor Relations Board (the Board”) is the governmental agency that enforces the Act.
The Act, as publicized to employees on the NLRB’s website, “gives employees the right to act together to try to improve their pay and working conditions or fix job-related problems, even if they aren’t in a union.” (emphasis added). In many instances, two employees discussing their work conditions, for a non-unionized employer, come under the protections of the Act.
The NLRB’s Report identifies numerous rules from Company handbooks that violate the Act. The rules deal with: workplace conduct, maintaining confidentiality of proprietary and business related information, anti-harassment policies, use of social media, restrictions on the ability to take photographs and make recordings at the workplace, and the use of copyrights, trademarks, and logos. Specifically, the NLRB found the following rules unlawful: