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Thirteen Reasons Why Non-Union Workplaces Can't Ignore The NLRB

5.2.16

There is little doubt that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is making its impact felt – even if your company never sees a union. By expanding its concept of “concerted protected activity,” the Board has staked out new territory for investigating union and non-union entities alike. And if the NLRB determines you have violated the law, they have ways of making your life miserable.

The Board can order non-complying employers to take steps such as posting an employee notice describing workers’ rights, or perhaps rescinding handbook policies that run afoul of the law. Or, taking it one step further, it could force you to reinstate any employees you have discharged for violating policies it finds out of bounds. 

Set forth below are just a few areas in which the agency can impact your business, along with some action items to help you steer clear of potential legal exposure: 

If you have not reviewed your policies and procedures in 2016, now is the time to do so.  You should scrutinize them carefully for any language that broadly restricts group discussion or action, mandates advance management approval, or otherwise broadly proscribes “unprofessional” or “inappropriate” conduct. 

Take steps to ensure that all general restrictions are accompanied by narrower terms defining the scope of improper conduct. Avoid ambiguity in favor of specific examples where possible, and consider adding a proper disclaimer.


For more information, contact the author at SBernstein@fisherphillips.com or 813.769.7513.

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