D.C. Circuit Upholds NLRB Ban on Various Worker Guide Policies

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As exhaustively reported in EmployNews in the last many years, the nation’s Labor Relations Board continues to be attacking numerous worker guide provisions considered for a long time by employers to constitute standard employment policies. The NLRB has figured that such policies violate Section 7 from the National Labor Relations Act simply because they could lead to chilling employees’ legal rights to take part in concerted activity. For instance, broad prohibitions against disclosure of company information happen to be rejected for the reason this could affect worker discussion of particular salaries.

As a result of a number of these decisions, employers took a “wait and see” position, refraining from revising their handbooks before figuring out whether federal courts will uphold the NLRB’s shifting thoughts about the legality of those policies. A week ago these employers received some not so good news once the U.S. Court of Appeals for that District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the NLRB’s ban on various guide policies.

In Hyundai Am. Shipping Agency, Corporation. v. NLRB, the company voided three guide policies under Section 7. These incorporated (1) a bar on employees discussing matters under analysis by the organization (2) limits on disclosing information maintained around the company’s electronic systems and (3) prohibiting non-work activities during working time. The analysis rule was considered overbroad because it wasn’t restricted to discussions that may hinder the continuing review. The electronic information policy didn’t restrict its achieve to private company information. The final challenged rule could stop employees from participating in organizing activities during breaks.

A legal court did uphold one challenged policy that advised but didn’t require employees to create complaints for their supervisors. None of those policies involve the NLRB’s latest tries to extend its jurisdiction to policies that have the symptoms of a smaller amount of an effect on concerted activity legal rights. However, the D.C. Circuit’s affirmation from the Board’s conclusions may suggest federal courts’ unwillingness to determine the NLRB is exceeding its jurisdiction in rejecting common, boilerplate employment policies which were never meant to affect Section 7 legal rights.

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