Standard language found in many employee handbooks include references to the company’s position on employment at will, or policies limiting how employees can use company property. Some handbooks include mandates alerting employees not to discuss their salaries with colleagues.
It is language that may be considered an ‘unfair labor practice’ based on an interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The NLRA states that it is unlawful to “interfere with, restrain, or coerce” workers.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is expanding its definition of the kinds of policies or actions that constitute unfair labor practices.
Employee handbook verbiage not supported by the NLRB includes:
- Employment at-will disclaimers
- Mandatory arbitration provisions
- Social media policies
- Policies that require employees to keep internal investigations confidential.
According to employmentlawmatters.net, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in 2011 found the following policies to be in violation of the NLRA:
- Verbal rules prohibiting employees from discussing their wages with other employees
- Requiring management’s authorization for distribution of literature during non-work time in non-work areas…
You can read more of the details regarding the NLRB’s position here.
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